CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The UNI men’s basketball team will spend 10 days in Italy, leaving on August 1st and returning on August 11th. The Panthers will play three games while abroad, playing in three separate cities.
The team will arrive in Amsterdam, Netherlands on Friday, August 2 before traveling to Verona, Italy for their first game on Saturday August 3. The team will then travel to Vinenza, Italy for their second game on Sunday, August 4.
After a day in Florence the team will depart for Rome on Wednesday, August 7 and play in their third and final game of the trip. Following the three games the team will enjoy three days in Rome before returning to the United States.
“These trips are tremendous growth opportunities for our players, coaches and program,” said head coach Ben Jacobson. “This is a terrific time for us to engage in a new culture, learn about traditions and visit some amazing places in Italy. We also hope to connect and leave a positive impact on the young people we meet and compete against. Our team has worked hard over the past two months to get ready for next season. This trip will be an important part of our preparation. We look forward to a great trip.”
Per NCAA rules, Division I teams are only allowed to travel abroad every four years, allowing every player on the team a chance to compete abroad once in their collegiate career. The Panthers are allowed 10 additional practices in preparation for the games abroad.
The Panthers return 10 players from last year’s team and have signed seven freshman to fill out the 2019-20 roster. Redshirt senior Spencer Haldeman has waited five years for his chance to go on a trip with his teammates and plans to make the most of it.
“We are really excited to take this trip to Italy,” stated Haldeman. “It’s crazy the places basketball will take you and the experiences it gives you. It will be great to play against a different type of basketball and see a different part of the world with my teammates.”