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KSU women’s hoops get set for Italy trip

By The Mercury

Staff reports

Kansas State women’s basketball will get an early start in its preparations for the 2013-14 season, as the Wildcats will embark on a 10-day, three-game trip to Italy from Aug. 9-19.

Under NCAA rules, foreign tours are permissible for any institution’s athletic team and may be taken once every four years. In order to prepare for the games in Italy, K-State is allowed 10 team practices this summer.

In the summer of 2008, K-State traveled to the Czech Republic and Austria. Like the two games K-State played in the Czech Republic, the three games the Wildcats will play in Italy will be played under the international rules of FIBA.

“I am extremely excited about the extraordinary educational and life experience this trip to Italy will provide our women’s basketball student-athletes,” K-State head coach Deb Patterson said about the trip. “This is a tremendous example of the world-class student-athlete experience K-State affords young people. I look forward to all the ways in which we will enrich our experiences as individuals culturally and as a program athletically.”

K-State will begin its trip in Como (Aug. 10-11), located on the border with Switzerland and outside of Milan in northern Italy. The Wildcats will play their first game of the trip against the Italy All-Stars on Aug. 11.

The team will then travel to Mestre, just outside of Venice, for the next two days (Aug. 12-13), where the team will play its second game of the trip against the Vicenza All-Stars on Aug. 12. During this stop, K-State will have the opportunity to sightsee within the historic city of Venice.

The Wildcats will then travel to Florence on Aug. 14-15. This stop will include a visit to the Accademia Gallery, which houses Florence’s most famous masterpiece — Michelangelo’s David. Also during their stay in Florence, K-State will take a day trip to Pisa to view the iconic Leaning Tower.

The final stop on the tour will bring K-State to Rome (Aug. 16-18) to experience all of the history of this world-renowned city. During this stop, K-State will play its final game of the trip against ASD Bull Basket on Aug. 17.

K-State fans can follow the Wildcats’ journey through Italy, as redshirt-freshman Kelly Thomson will be writing a diary of the team’s travels at with photo galleries to accompany the diary. Game recaps will also be available following the three games.

Playing with seven players for the final 19 games of the 2012-13 season, K-State reached the postseason for the 11th time in the last 12 seasons by appearing in the 2013 WNIT. The Wildcats advanced to the semifinals of the WNIT for the third time in the program’s four appearances in the tournament.

K-State returns five players that saw significant action a season ago, including sophomore Bri Craig and junior Haley Texada. The Wildcats will also welcome in six freshmen for the 2013-14 season.

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