By Joe Guistina
For The Daily Item
DANVILLE -- Michael Rudy has always been a basketball junkie.
From the time he was a Daily Item All-Star during his senior year at Danville High School all the way through his junior year at Lycoming College, when he set the college's blocked shots record, his motor and desire to succeed was always evident.
Now, he is going to get to peek at a different level of basketball when he heads to Europe as part of the East Coast All Stars for the Four Nations Cup. The All Stars -- led by Lycoming head coach Guy Rancourt -- will represent the United States at the event, as they take on the national teams of Estonia, Belarus and the Slovak Republic during the three-day tournament in Talinn, Estonia, from July 25-27.
"I've never left the country, so this will be the first time," Rudy said. "It's my first plane ride. Saying I am going over for basketball, the thing I love the most, is a bonus. Playing against current and former NBA players, it's something not too many people get an opportunity to do."
Besides Rudy and Lycoming teammate Justin Miller, the East Coast All Stars, will consist of high-end Division I talent, including Louisville's Russ Smith, who was the MVP of the NCAA Tournament, Syracuse's Rakeem Christmas and Providence's Kadeem Batts.
Rudy will meet up with his teammates, which also includes players from West Virginia, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Iowa, Northern Colorado and Binghamton, for a two-day training camp at Fordham University on Saturday.
"I never thought I'd be able to say that I'd play with this talented a group," Rudy said. "Having watched a lot of these guys play (on television), getting to play with them is something I'll never forget."