May 31, 2006
ORLANDO - Senior Josh Peppers and sophomore Drew Speraw of the UCF men's basketball team had the opportunity to play overseas recently as they both toured China with the Sports Reach Christian Ministry. Peppers and Speraw spent 11 days in China and played eight games against professional and semi-pro squads.
The pair were two of the eight players on their team, which was coached by Lipscomb assistant Jay Walton. Other team members included Joe Alexander and Jamie Smalligan of West Virginia, Israel Kirk of Lipscomb and Cleve Woodfork of Tennessee-Martin.
The squad went 5-3 on the trip. Peppers led the team in scoring, averaging 23 points per contest. Speraw averaged seven points.
The team visited 10 cities during their trip. Peppers and Speraw flew from Chicago to Tokyo before flying to Beijing. The players had a chance to sightsee and visited well-known locations including the Great Wall and Tiananmen Square.
Peppers is UCF's leading returning scorer entering the 2006-07 campaign. The forward is an all-conference candidate after averaging 13.7 points per game last season. Speraw appeared in 17 contests last year, including seven in Conference USA play.
Last August, Peppers and the Golden Knights participated in a six-game exhibition tour in Europe. While overseas, UCF visited Holland, Belgium and France. Due to NCAA regulations, Speraw, who was entering his freshman year, was not eligible to play on the trip.
In August of 2004, UCF players Adam Gill and Will Bakanowsky both visited China on a similar tour. Former associate head coach Tom Schuberth led their squad, which also included several Division I players from across the United States.