When August rolls around and back-to-school advertisements start to appear everywhere, coaches and athletes begin gearing up for the beginning of the academic year and fall practices. However, with summer still in swing, time remains for programs to take advantage of the offseason and participate in adventures such as trips abroad. This August, several teams will travel with Sport Tours on international tours to exciting destinations.
The preseason trips will include a mix of sightseeing and exhibition games. Programs will have plenty of time to explore when they are not competing.
Fans can follow along via social media as their favorite programs discover foreign locales and get a taste of competition before fall preparation for the 2017-18 season begins.
Team Bonding for Jaguars in Multilingual Quebec
Walking the streets of Montreal and Quebec City, South Alabama’s women’s basketball team will enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere of cities that are a mix of the European Old World and the ultra-modern. The Jaguars will spend nine days on a two-city sojourn in Canada’s second largest province where French is the predominant language.
The Jags' three opponents include a team of Montreal All-stars, Laval College in Quebec City and Bishop's University in Montreal.
"We want team bonding and team chemistry to be built through the trip," said South Alabama head coach Terry Fowler about the trip. "It gives us a chance to get a head start to build a plan for the season.”
- South Alabama women’s basketball on Twitter: @SouthALWBB
A Taste of Cuba for Louisiana Lafayette men and Siena women
For decades travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens was restricted. However, travel on official educational and athletic visits was allowed. As a result, since 1989 Sport Tours has been able to arrange trips for athletic programs to a place many can only dream of visiting. Furthermore, after some barriers to travel to Cuba were lifted during the Barack Obama administration, teams have been able to travel without special permits.
In 2015, Sport Tours took the Coastal Carolina men’s basketball team to Cuba and the Chants became the first NCAA men’s team to ever play on Cuban soil. This summer, Louisiana Lafayette’s men basketball team and the Siena women basketball program will make the trip to the fascinating Caribbean tropical isle where 1950s classic cars still roam the streets.
- Louisiana Lafayette men’s basketball on Twitter: @RaginCajunsMBB
- Siena women’s basketball on Twitter: @Sienawomenshoop
Bahamian Beaches and Basketball
For Chicago State men’s basketball, August brings an opportunity to hang out on spectacular beaches and play international competition. The team will leave Chicago for the Bahamas on an Caribbean sojourn that includes guided tours, excursions, meals, games and other activities in mid-August.
- Chicago State athletics on Twitter: @ChiStateCougars
Hoops on the Island of Enchantment, Puerto Rico
The men’s basketball programs at Hampton, Alcorn State and Green Bay will also head to tropical shores when Sport Tours takes them to Puerto Rico in August. The island is an ideal trip as U.S. citizens do not need a passport to travel to the unincorporated U.S. territory. In addition, Puerto Rico has a rich basketball history that stretches over 100 years.
- Hampton men’s basketball on Twitter: @Hampton_MBB
- Alcorn State men’s basketball on Twitter: @BravesSports
- Green Bay men’s basketball on Twitter: @GBPhoenixmbb
Transatlantic Escapades for Rhode Island Women and Tulane Men
Rhode Island’s women’s basketball team and Tulane men’s basketball will follow in the footsteps of programs that took Sport Tours-led trips to Europe this past May. Rhode Island will visit Portugal and Spain, enjoying the beaches of both Lisbon and Barcelona. Tulane will immerse itself in the Spanish and Catalonian culture with stays to Madrid and Barcelona.
For Rhode Island, the trip will be a homecoming for Marta Vargas, a talented guard who has played at different levels for the Portuguese National Team program.
Tulane relishes the chance to play in a country known for high-caliber basketball.
"This is a great opportunity for all of us to play against a higher level of competition and see the world because a lot of us have never left the country, including myself," said redshirt senior. "I think it's going to be a really good time for us to grow as a team and build chemistry heading into next season."
- Rhode Island women's basketball on Twitter: @RhodyWBB
- Tulane men’s basketball on Twitter: @GreenWaveMBB