The University of Washington men’s basketball team is going global this summer.
Coach Lorenzo Romar announced Thursday that the team will make a 15-day trip overseas with stops on two continents for seven games in preparation for next season.
The Huskies will make stops in Spain, France, Monaco and Senegal.
“Foreign tours are fantastic for the overall well-being of the student athlete,” Romar said. “It’s always a great cultural experience.”
This will be Washington second trip out of the country with Romar as the coach. In 2007, UW traveled to Greece for some games. NCAA teams are allowed one foreign tour every four years.
This tour will be extra special because the final leg will be to Senegal, home of senior center Aziz N’Diaye.
Romar often schedules home games for seniors in their hometowns. The Huskies will play a game in Dakar, Senegal, N’Diaye’s hometown. They will also host and take part in several basketball camps and clinics as part of World Vision’s Area Development Program.
“You do home visits with kids when you are recruiting them and you meet parents and have an opportunity to see their world,” Romar said. “In this case, we not only get to see Aziz’s world, but his family and friends get to see the group he has been living with the last couple of years.”
The itinerary has the team leaving Seattle on Aug. 25, stopping in Barcelona, Spain, for four days and two games; traveling by bus to Nice, France for three days and two games; going to Monaco for three days and two games; then flying to Paris on Sept. 2 for two more games before traveling to Senegal for a three-day stay. They will return to Seattle on Sept. 9.
“We’re playing some of the highest-level teams internationally,” Romar said. “We will play against some very tough competition. We’re playing to win, but you’re also trying to get better so you always want to play the best.”
As part of the trip, the players will take classes in the cultural and historical landmarks they will visit along the way. Last season, UW players participated in similar classes during their five-day trip to New York.
In preparation for the trip, the team is allowed 10 practices. All players that are eligible to play in the 2012-13 season, including incoming freshmen and prospective redshirts, will be allowed to participate.
With Washington replacing Terrence Ross, Tony Wroten and Darnell Gant from last season, the extra practices could be beneficial in building team chemistry.
“With the new rule that allows freshmen and new players to practice with you, it gives you another great opportunity to acclimate your new players early,” Romar said. “We’re going to play seven games so everyone is going to get quality minutes. It’s going to be an overall great experience for all and a great chance for the team to bond.”email@example.com 253-597-8483 blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports Twitter: @RyanDivish