The members of the Drexel men’s basketball will get the opportunity of a lifetime during the next two weeks. The Dragons will embark on a 10-day trip to Italy, where they will visit three cities and play four games against professional and club teams.
“We are really excited and fortunate to be able to take our student-athletes to Italy,” said Drexel Head Coach Zach Spiker. “This gives our players a unique opportunity to spend time with their teammates and learn about a different culture. Our team had such an incredible experience when we went to Australia a few years ago. I am eager to give this year’s group a chance to see just what a great experience traveling abroad can be, especially when it is with your teammates. We are so grateful that the administration at Drexel gave us the chance to once against compete internationally as we prepare for the upcoming season.”
The entire team will board a bus Saturday morning and drive to Newark, NJ, where it will catch a nonstop flight to Rome, the capital city of Italy. The Dragons will be in Rome for three days. While in Rome, the team will have a walking tour of the ancient city which was founded in 753 BCE The Dragons will also visit the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum before they take the court for the first time on Wednesday night against Stella Azzurra.
The following morning after breakfast, Spiker and his team will board a bus and drive north to Florence. The team will spend the next three days in the Tuscany region. There will be more educational opportunities during the visit to Florence including a stop at the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze, the home of Michelangelo’s sculpture David. The team will suit up to face Orange 1 Basket Bassano, an Under-19 Italian youth club, on Aug. 11. The day after the game, the Dragons will make the short trip to Pisa and will have the opportunity to climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The structure, located in Cathedral Square, is more than 600 years old.
On Saturday, Aug. 13, the team begins the final leg of its trip. Drexel will play its third game of the tour in Como on Saturday afternoon against a team from the Danish league. Immediately after the game, the Dragons will attend the AC Milan match against Udinese. AC Milan is the defending champion of Serie A, the top soccer league in all of Italy. The following morning, the team will cross an international border and visit Lugano, Switzerland for the day. That night, the Dragons will play their final game of the trip against the Lombardia All Stars. On Monday, Aug. 15, Drexel starts its final full day in Italy with what is sure to be one of the highlights of the trip. The team will take a picturesque three-hour cruise on Como Lake, which is in the foothills of the Swiss Alps.
This will be the fifth time the men’s team has gone abroad. The last trip came prior to the 2019 season when the Dragons visited Australia. Drexel previously visited China on two different occasions as well as Turkey.
Follow men’s basketball on social media throughout the trip @DrexelMBB on Twitter and Instagram. Also look for regular blog updates on DrexelDragons.com