WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - For the second time in program history, the UNCW men’s basketball team is headed to a foreign country. The Seahawks are traveling to Italy August 6-14 to play in two exhibition games.
The team will also tour Venice, Florence, Rome, and Vatican City.
For sophomore Jay Estime, this is his second trip to Italy and this time he’s looking forward to taking full advantage of the opportunity.
“I was very young when I went to Italy the first time,” said Estime. “I really didn’t get a chance to take everything in the way I could now.”
For others like freshman Shykeim Phillips it will be their first time stepping on foreign soil.
“Its mind blowing that it’s my first time to another country,” said Phillips. “I am just excited for the trip and experience.”
To go along with sight seeing and basketball, the Seahawks will receive class credit.
“They are taking a summer course and studying the culture of the places we are going in Italy,” said head coach C.B. McGrath. “I think that’s cool. They need to keep a journal and all types of things and turn it in to their instructors.”
The Seahawks will play two games against Italian club teams, however, they aren’t sure which teams it will be against. For McGrath, he’s not worried about the results on the court.
“We are just going to play man-to-man defense,” said McGrath. “We are going to try to rebound and run and play fast, shoot some shots. We don’t know what the competition is going to look like. It could be great club teams or bad club teams. You just don’t know.”
What the players do know is that the trip will make them a better team in the long run.
“We are just trying to take it as a bonding experience and using it for our good,” said sophomore Kai Toews. “So when the season rolls around, we’ll have been through a lot of things together and that we know each other well.”