PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball program will be embarking on a foreign trip beginning August 14, traveling to Italy for 10 days. The Quakers will play four games while overseas.
This will be the Penn men’s basketball program’s first foreign trip since 2003, when the Quakers went to Spain. Coincidentally, Penn is one of three Big 5 schools who will be in Italy in mid-August along with Temple and Saint Joseph’s.
Penn is scheduled to fly overnight, leaving Philadelphia on August 14 and arriving in Venice the morning of the 15th. The team will stay in Venice for two nights, then bus to Florence on August 17. After two nights in Florence, the team will bus to Rome on August 19. The Quakers will depart Rome the morning of August 23, flying back to Philadelphia. The team is set for sightseeing tours in all three cities.
The tentative game schedule has the Quakers matching up with Tezenis Verona on Friday, Aug. 16; Giorgio Tesi on Sunday, Aug. 18; Prima Napoli on Tuesday, Aug. 20; and FMC Ferentino on Wednesday, Aug. 21.
“I want to thank the University and especially Director of Athletics Steve Bilsky for affording us this incredible opportunity,” said the John R. Rockwell Head Coach of Men’s Basketball, Jerome Allen. “It is one thing to compete in a foreign setting. However, the larger piece of this trip involves showing our players that, especially in this day and age, we are all citizens of the world. I think this trip will have a large impact on the guys, who may not have much awareness of the world outside of their enclave.
“I played in Europe for 11 years, and it changed me as a person,” Allen continued. “It was an experience that I tried to share with as many people as possible. I hope this trip will open the guys up to new experiences and give them the opportunity to form new opinions about the world.”
Due to Ivy League rules, Penn will only travel with its 15 returning players -- incoming recruits are not allowed to make the trip. Prior to the trip, Penn will conduct practices from August 9-13; the Quakers will have media availability prior to the practice on Monday, Aug. 12.