PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The Rutgers men’s basketball program will embark on a trip to Western Europe later this month, travelling to Spain and the Canary Islands from May 23-31. The Scarlet Knights are slated to play four games against foreign club teams on the excursion, which will also feature cultural tours and sightseeing endeavors.
“To provide our student-athletes a meaningful cultural experience through the vehicle of basketball is very exciting,” said Rutgers head coach Fred Hill. “It’s a unique opportunity to grow educationally while building unity. We look forward to competing hard and learning about another part of the world.”
The Scarlet Knights will depart New York for Madrid the evening of Saturday, May 23. The team will spend a few days in Spain’s capital city before flying to Gran Canaria, an archipelago of Spain located just off the Northwest coast of mainland Africa, on Tuesday afternoon. In the Canary Islands, Rutgers will stay in the south coast town of Maspalomas, where it will play four evening contests in a span of four days. The Scarlet Knights will return to the States on Sunday, May 31.
The travel party will consist of returning players from the 2008-09 roster, as well as coaches and support staff.
The excursion will mark the first time that Rutgers men’s basketball has travelled abroad since August 2000, when the team took 12-day trip to Chile. By NCAA rule, college programs are allowed to take one foreign team trip every four years.
This year’s trip was paid for over three years ago through fund raising dollars and was originally scheduled to take place in 2006, but was postponed. Scheduling issues delayed the tour until 2009.
Fans can follow the team’s tour of Spain and the Canary Islands via the official Rutgers Athletics website, www.ScarletKnights.com. Stories and images from the trip, as well as player journals, will be posted to the site on a daily basis. The trip will also be featured on next season’s Inside Rutgers Basketball television show, which airs on SNY and Comcast SportsNet in Philadelphia.