The Virginia men’s basketball team will embark on a ten-day excursion to Italy in early August that will double as an opportunity to practice and play in exhibition games as well as a chance for the team to bond and build chemistry, especially for the new members of the roster.
UVA will play in four exhibition games over the course of the tour, which will take place from August 10th through August 20th and includes stops in Rome, Florence, Rapallo, and Portofino. The four-match exhibition schedule is as follows:
- August 13th – Rome
- August 15th – Florence
- August 18th & 19th – Rapallo
Details regarding the specific venues and viewing opportunities for the individual games have yet to be released.
Two of Virginia’s games in the trip will be against KK Mega Mozzart, also known as Mega Basket, a professional basketball club based out of Belgrade, Serbia. The club won the 2016 Serbian Cup and place runner-up in 2014, 2015, and 2021. Mega Basket has produced a few significant NBA players such as Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot, Boban Marjanović, and Nikola Jokić, who was just named the Most Valuable Player of the NBA for the second-consecutive season.
Virginia’s eight returning players Kihei Clark, Reece Beekman, Armaan Franklin, Jayden Gardner, Francisco Caffaro, Kadin Shedrick, Taine Murray, and Chase Coleman, as well as Ohio transfer Ben Vander Plas and incoming first years Isaac McKneely, Isaac Traudt, Leon Bond, and Ryan Dunn will participate in the tour.
READ MORE: Latest Virginia Basketball Recruiting News and Updates
“We are very excited to take our team to Italy,” Virginia men’s basketball head coach Tony Bennett said. “We are adding four freshmen and a graduate transfer to an experienced group which showed improvement last season. The additional practices and quality competition during this tour allows us to improve and prepare for the 2022-23 season. We are looking forward to bonding and growing as a team in a beautiful country.”
The UVA men’s basketball program is taking 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 turned in a 5-0 record in 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 acclimated to the team and get some crucial early experience in Tony Bennett’s defensive system. Many in the program have attributed some of the team’s success in the following years, which of course included the 2019 National Championship, to the early development of the 2016 recruiting class that occurred on that trip to Italy.
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The Cavaliers are certainly hopeful for a similar story to unfold with the 2022 recruiting class as they experience their first live action with the Virginia men’s basketball program.
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