May 6, 2013 11:38 AM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE, La. - Junior guard Elfrid Payton, who earned first team All-Sun Belt honors last year after leading the Sun Belt in both assists and steals, will take part in a eight-game, 18-day tour of the Far East this month as part of the 2013 Reach USA Cultural Exchange Tour.
The tour is being sponsored by Sports Reach, a sports ministry based out of Kentucky that has been sponsoring tours since 1986.
"I am looking forward to the experience of playing against international competition and experiencing what it is like in the Far East," Payton said. "I have heard a lot about what it is like playing overseas and I am grateful that this opportunity has been given to me.
"This will be a good chance to continue to develop my talent and represent the University of Louisiana on an international stage. Sports Reach is a good organization and this tour will allow me to grow both spiritually and as a leader while at the same time, experiencing something that few players ever get to see," Payton added.
Payton will join the team early next week in Louisville, Ky with the squad departing on May 11. They will return on May 28.
Payton will be joined on the Sports Reach roster by the Western Kentucky duo of T.J.Price and George Fant, Tennesee Tech's Josiah Moore along with Travis Smith (Mercer), Stacy Wilson (Murray State), D.J. Johnson (Kansas State), J.P. Kambola (Marshall) and Jordan Myers (Campbellsville).
The Sports Reach team will be coached by Tom Schuberth, who is an assistant coach at Jacksonville State.
Payton averaged a team-high 15.9 points and 5.5 assists and 2.4 steals per game, ranking second with 5.6 rebounds en route to earning first team All-Sun Belt and second team All-Louisiana honors this year.
Payton finished the year leading the Sun Belt Conference in both steals and assists, ranking 12th nationally in steals and 38th in assists. He was also fourth in the league in scoring and 18th in rebounds.
A starter in all 33 games, Payton ranks third in school history with 80 steals this year while his 181 assists were fourth-best. With two full seasons to play, he already ranks 18th all-time with 117 steals and 278 assists.