The Rainbow Warrior basketball team will embark on a 10-day visit to Australia when it heads Down Under for a goodwill tour from Aug. 8–18.
This trip will include visits to Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney where the 'Bows will play an exhibition game in each city. The last time the 'Bows embarked on a foreign tour was China in 2011.
"This tour is huge for us as we continue to build our program," 'Bows head coach Eran Ganot said in a press release. "Most elite programs do foreign tours every four years, and we hope this trip begins a similar process for us. It certainly isn't easy to put together a tour like this and there are so many people that stepped up to make this happen. We can't thank them enough."
According to the NCAA, the 'Bows will be allowed to have 10 extra practices starting toward the end of July to prep for the tour.
"To be able to have 10 days of practice in addition to the opportunity to play against some of the best teams in a Australia is something we're all looking forward to," Ganot said. "It's a great way to get our newcomers integrated and should give us plenty of momentum going into our 2018-19 season."
The 'Bows feature three Aussie players on their 2018-19 roster — Owen Hulland (Adelaide), redshirt freshman Mate Colina (Melbourne) and senior-to-be Jack Purchase (Melbourne). Hulland and Colina were former teammates in Canberra for the Centre of Excellence. Purchase played for the Melbourne Tigers and competed for the Australian U17 National Team in 2012.
"There is a natural synergy between Australia and Hawai'I" Ganot said. "Beside UH being the closest Division I school to Australia, there are also the cultural similarities – the terrific people and the tremendous value we place on team and family. To bring our current Aussies back home, particularly a senior in Jack Purchase, is all the more special for them and their loved ones."
Besides basketball, the 'Bows will also make visits to the Sydney Zoo and an Australian Rules football game.
"This is such a rare opportunity," Ganot said. "We'll be visiting some of the best cities in the world and it will be an exciting and memorable experience for our players, staff, families, and friends. Australia has been such a big part of my life and my family's life, so to be able to share this incredible country with everybody is going to be awesome."