TCU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will travel together on a joint foreign tour of Australia, Aug. 5-16.
Both teams will play a set number of games while seeing the sights of Sydney and Melbourne.
“This trip will be a great cultural experience, a great team experience and a great basketball experience that our guys will remember for the rest of their lives,” said Jamie Dixon, men’s basketball head coach. “It’s such a unique experience that occurs once every four years and it will provide great momentum towards the improvement of our program.”
In addition to the experience of playing games in August, both teams will be allowed 10 practices to prepare for competition.
“Taking our basketball program to Australia is an experience and opportunity that is so valuable,” said Raegan Pebley, women’s basketball head coach. “We are going to seize every advantage this trip provides our team on and off the court.”
Under NCAA rules, teams can participate in a foreign tour once every four years. Australia made for an ideal location for both of TCU’s men’s and women’s teams as both have ties to that area.
Sophomore Ella Hellessey of the women’s team is from Dromana. She won a gold medal at the 2014 FIBA Oceania U18 Championships as a member of the Australian U18 National Team.
“I know that this will be very special for Ella,” said Pebley. “Not only the chance to play in her home country in front of her family and friends, but to also share with Australia what TCU is all about, is going to be amazing for her and our whole program.”
The men’s team has two players on its roster from Australia with freshman Lat Mayen from Adelaide and redshirt freshman Kouat Noi from Newcastle. Both have been a member of an Australian national team. Mayen was most recently a member of the U19 National Team this past summer and Noi was on the U18 National Team in 2013.
TCU men’s basketball assistant coach David Patrick has many connections to Australia. He grew up in Melbourne and played with the Australian Junior National Team before starting a professional career for the Canberra Cannons of the National Basketball League. Dixon played professionally for the Hawke’s Bay Hawks in 1989-90 in nearby New Zealand.
More information about the trip will be announced at a later date.