Brownell says Italy trip two years in the making


by - Senior Writer -
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A trip that has been over two years in the planning will come to fruition in August when the Clemson men’s basketball team embarks on a 10-day tour of Italy.

The Tigers will play four games against four Italian professional teams on the trip, which begins on August 8th, and Clemson head coach Brad BrownellBrad Brownell
Head Coach
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told TigerNet last week that the trip will be a good bonding experience for what will be a very young ball club.

The Tigers also get the added benefit of 10 summer practices prior to the trip.

“It’s something we have been planning for over two years,” Brownell said. “We kind of knew we would be in a situation where we would have a very young team, and we thought the best thing we could do was to gain some experience. We get 10 practices this summer, and we get to play four games against some pro teams. It’s a great chance for us to get some new guys some experience and really just to get a head start on your season.”

If freshmen are declared eligible by the NCAA and complete summer school classes, they’re allowed to practice and compete on the trip.

Clemson has four newcomers arriving this summer: freshmen Sidy Djitte, Patrick Rooks and Austin Ajukwa, plus junior college center Ibrahim Djambo. Also, the Tigers have a redshirt freshman, Jaron BlossomgameJaron Blossomgame
Fr. Forward
#5 6-7, 205
Alpharetta, GA

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, who has practiced with the team, but has not yet played, and a sophomore, Devin ColemanDevin Coleman
So. Guard
#15 6-2, 200
Philadelphia, PA

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, who will be working his way back into the mix after missing all of last season with an Achilles tendon injury.

Brownell said the experiences will go beyond the basketball court, however, for all of his players.

“Really, the bonding experiences will be great for our guys,” he said. “And they will get some life memories, which I think are always good. When you have that type of situation, where you get to do something like that with your teammates, is pretty special. It is something they will remember for a long time.”

The NCAA allows basketball teams to conduct a foreign tour every four years, and the Tigers haven’t taken a trip like this in over a decade.

“We have never made a trip like this. We have made trips to Hawaii and the Virgin Islands, but this trip will be different,” Brownell said. “The games aren’t quite as significant, and you get to see the different lineups and see what the guys can do. I think the guys will really enjoy the experience.”

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