On Sunday August 2nd the Georgia women’s basketball team will embark on a 10 day tour of Europe.
“I can see excitement and a growing interest on the part of our players about the trip,” Coach Landers told Georgiadogs.”
Coach Landers is fueling the excitement with a little non-curricular “homework” for the team. “I don’t know much about Italy but Coach is giving us sights to research,” junior forward Merritt Hempe told Georgiadogs.com, “and I know Murano is a series of seven islands connected by bridges that’s famous for glass making and I’m looking forward to seeing it.”
Coach Landers also told Onlineathens.com he looks forward to the team bonding during the extended time together. “There aren’t many times when a team is together 24 hours a day for 10 days.”
Of course the trip provides an opportunity for additional full team practices in advance of the tour and the advantage is not lost on the players. Mackenzie Engram, a 6-foot-2 forward freshman from Hillgrove High School, said. “It will really help us when it comes to the (regular) season because we’ll already have the experience of playing in real live games together, connecting and developing that chemistry.”
With only ten practices to prepare for the trip, Georgia will rely on zone defense and limited offensive plays. Also, the Dawgs will know little about the three opponents. Said Coach Landers to Onlineathens.com, “It will be interesting for players, too, because they’ll walk out there believing the only thing we have going for us is what we practiced these 10 days. So we better play the heck out of that zone and execute those three sets.”
Hempe told Onlineathens. “We’re not completely preparing for who we’re going to play, but it will give us a way to play as we’re going along.”
The team arrives in Rome August 4. After taking in the local historic sights travels north for games against Italian teams in Ponte Buggianese on August 7th and in Trieste on August 9th. The Dogs will then travel into the southern Alps for a final game against a Turkish National team in Bormio on Aug. 11th. Between the three games are visits to Florence, Pisa, Vernoa and Sondrio. Lady Dogs return home on Aug. 13.
Engram told Georgiadogs.com, “I’ve never been out of the country and I know Italy is beautiful. I look forward to seeing all the historical sights.”
“It’s awesome – a great way to start out my senior year and our season,” senior guard Erika Ford told onlineathens.com. “It’s going to be an unbelievable experience.”