Big Lead Sports Bar


Pitt Basketball Team Headed to Ireland

The Pitt men's hoops team is going on a little field trip in about a month, one that will take them all the way to Ireland.

NCAA men's basketball programs are allowed one foreign tour every four years and permits 10 practice days prior to the date of departure, so the Panthers will depart on July 29 and return to the Burgh on August 9. The Panthers' last tour outside the U.S. came in 2004, when they traveled to Toronto.

Pitt will play a total of six games while overseas, including two contests in Cork at Neptune Stadium (July 31 and Aug. 1), two in Dublin at the Dublin City University (Aug. 3 and Aug. 4), two in Belfast, Northern Ireland at the Odyssey Arena (Aug. 6 and Aug. 7). Included in those games will be an exhibition against Australia's oldest and most respected basketball club, the Melbourne Tigers, on August 6 in Belfast.

And if you're talking Pittsburgh and Ireland, Dan Rooney would naturally enter into the discussion. The Steelers' owner will meet with the team on August 2 for a reception as part of their tour, which I think is pretty cool:

"As a lifelong Pittsburgher, it will be very special for me personally to host the Pitt Basketball team here in Dublin during its tour to Ireland," Rooney said in a statement. "Coach Dixon, his staff and players will also visit the UPMC Children's Hospital here in Dublin as well as spend time with the Peace Players, who have used the game of basketball as a vehicle toward achieving peace and understanding in Belfast and universally. It is an honor to represent President Obama and the American people here in Ireland. It will be such a pleasure having these fine young men from Pittsburgh and all of their traveling party be a part of all things `Irish.'"

All in all, it sounds like a pretty interesting trip for the Panthers, giving their players a unique overseas experience while playing some decidedly uncommon opponents. I think it will be a tremendous plus for the program.

The Pitt team began the first of their 10 allotted practices for the trip today.  The only absentee is senior center Gary McGhee, who is currently attending the three-day Amar'e Stoudamire Skills Academy Camp in Chicago, running through Saturday. 

Pitt Basketball Team Will Travel to Ireland for 12-day, Six-game Tour []

Pitt hoops team heading to Ireland [Trib]


GMoney said...

So Gary McGhee is spending the weekend learning how to not play defense?

Wags said...

This isn't helping their non-conference schedule problems..