Colonials to travel to Italy in summer 2012

Mike Longergan
Head coach Mike Lonergan, seen here at his introductory press conference last May, will lead the Colonials to Italy next summer. | File Photo

The men’s basketball team will head to Italy to play five exhibition games against Italian professional competition from Aug. 15 to Aug. 26, the program’s first international trip since a summer 2005 visit to Australia.

The Colonials will depart Aug. 15, taking an overnight flight to Rome. They’ll stay in the city for four days, taking guided tours of the Vatican, the Roman Forum and the Roman Colosseum, playing one of their five games in Rome Aug. 17. From Aug. 19 to Aug. 21, GW heads to Florence, touring that city before traveling to Siena Aug. 20 to play their second game. The Colonials head to view the Leaning Tower of Pisa the next day, playing their third match that night.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these players to travel to historic Italy with their teammates,” head coach Mike Lonergan said. “The life experience of foreign travel and immersion in another culture that our players will gain from this trip is an invaluable part of the learning process that GW seeks to provide, and the trip itself will significantly aid the critical process of team bonding by giving our returning players an early opportunity to gel with each other and our strong incoming group of freshmen.”

The final portion of the trip takes the Colonials to Cernobbio in the Italian Lake District Aug 22. The team will spend the day Aug. 23 at Stresa, on Lake Maggiore, before heading to nearby Ticino to play another game that night. GW’s fifth and final game in Italy will be in Cernobbio Aug. 24, taking a day for final receptions Aug. 25 before returning stateside from Milan Aug. 26.

“We are excited to welcome the GW men’s basketball team to Italy this summer,” GW Italy Alumni Chapter member Eliana Coffidis said. “With nearly 100 GW alumni throughout Italy, this is an exciting opportunity for all of us to welcome current GW students to our country and culture.”

The Colonials are currently preparing for 2011 conference play, heading to St. Bonaventure tomorrow with tip slated for 7 p.m.

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