Men's Basketball Team Headed to Italy
HOUGHTON, Mich. - The Michigan Tech men's basketball team is beginning its 2012-13 season early by taking a foreign tour to Italy Aug. 15-23. The trip will span nine days and feature three games against Italian club teams.
"The trip will be a good exercise for this year's team because we have the chance to be very competitive," said head coach Kevin Luke on why the team decided to take the trip.
"We have a good nucleus of players returning. Hopefully this trip will foster team chemistry and jump start the season."
The team did not have a specific destination in mind when it started planning the trip. Coach Luke chose a company called Team USA, which organizes trips in Italy and Greece, based on the recommendations of other basketball programs that have used the service.
The team, which will be comprised of all returning players (incoming players are not allowed) and coaches, will depart for Rome on Aug. 15th. Upon arrival in Rome, they will travel to Montecatini through the Tuscany region sight seeing along the way.
The Huskies will play their first game against a Roman team Stella Azzurra on Aug. 20th. The team will follow up with games against Citta di Castello on Aug. 21st and Basket Pamphili on Aug. 22nd before returning home on the 23rd.
"We don't know much about any of the three teams," said Luke. "This will allow us to just play our game and not worry about scouting reports."
The team has 10 days of practice to prepare for the trip and adjust to international rules, which feature a 24-second shot and an eight-second back court violation.
"We are really looking forward to this trip," said Luke. "If all goes well we hope to do it again in the future."
The trip is being funded entirely through donations and fundraisers.
The team will have a blog at http://mtuitalytour.wordpress.com/.