The Virginia men’s basketball team will embark on a 10-day field trip to Italy in early August, offering both an opportunity to practice and play in exhibition games and a chance for the team to bond and build chemistry, especially for the new members of the roster .
UVA will take part in four exhibition matches over the course of the tour, which runs from August 10th to 20th and includes stops in Rome, Florence, Rapallo and Portofino. The exhibition plan for four games is as follows:
- August 13 – Rome
- August 15 – Florence
- August 18th and 19th – Rapallo
Details on the specific venues and spectator opportunities for each game have yet to be released.
Two of Virginia’s games on the trip will be against KK Mega Mozzart, also known as Mega Basket, a professional basketball club from Belgrade, Serbia. The club won the Serbian Cup in 2016 and was runners-up in 2014, 2015 and 2021. Mega Basket has produced some notable NBA players including Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot, Boban Marjanović and Nikola Jokić who has just been named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for the second straight season.
Virginia’s eight returnees Kihei Clark, Reece Beekman, Armaan Franklin, Jayden Gardner, Francisco Caffaro, Kadin Shedrick, Taine Murray, and Chase Coleman, plus Ohio’s Ben Vander Plas and new first-graders Isaac McKneely, Isaac Traudt, Leon Bond, and Ryan Dunn will attend join the tour.
READ MORE: Latest Virginia Basketball Recruitment News and Updates
“We are very excited to bring our team to Italy,” said Tony Bennett, Virginia men’s basketball head coach. “We are adding four newcomers and one graduate transfer to an experienced group that has improved over the past season. The additional training and quality competition during this tour allows us to improve and prepare for the 2022-23 season. We look forward to growing together and growing as a team in a beautiful country.”
UVA’s men’s basketball program is making a trip to Europe for the fifth time since 1996, and this is the team’s first tour since the Cavaliers visited Spain in 2016. Virginia recorded a 5-0 record on that trip and, more importantly, it allowed the incoming first-year class of Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome, De’Andre Hunter and Jay Huff to get used to the team and gain some crucial early experience in Tony Bennett’s defense system. Many in the program have attributed some of the team’s success in subsequent years, which of course included the 2019 National Championship, to the early development of the 2016 Recruitment class, which took place on that trip to Italy.
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The Cavaliers are certainly hoping for a similar storyline with the 2022 recruiting class when they catch their first live action with the Virginia men’s basketball program.
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