Before Tuesday, Derrick Nix had never left the United States.
By Friday, the trip with his Michigan State teammates to Germany had changed his view on the world more than even he could have imagined.
Michigan State has the made the trek of more than 4,000 miles to play Connecticut tonight in the Armed Forces Classic, but the several days the Spartans have spent in Germany have been about far more than a basketball game.
"It is kind of emotional just to know as a college student-athlete, we don't really take into perspective what these people do for our country," Nix said after practice Thursday. "We kind of blow it off, not disrespectfully. But just to see the troops in severe situations and have to be away from their family for so long and just them ill and there's nothing they can do about it makes you respect what they do for this country more."