Sports | Women's Basketball

Arrivederci! Duke women's basketball headed to Italy for preseason tour

Make it two Duke teams that will be traveling abroad this August in advance of their 2017-18 seasons.

Joining men's basketball, which will be headed to the Dominican Republic next month, the Blue Devils' women's basketball team announced Tuesday morning that it will play a trio of exhibition games in Italy between August 14 and 23. They will face off against the Netherlands national team, an Italian all-star squad and Celje Basketball Club from Slovenia during the nine-day tour.

“We all are thrilled for this incredible opportunity,” Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie said in a press release. “This team, our staff and all traveling with us are grateful and eager to learn all we can about Italy while competing and learning more about each other. This is a special trip. Representing Duke abroad is truly an honor. This team is going to make the most of the experience.”

In between games, the Blue Devils will also visit four of Italy's largest cities—Rome, Florence, Siena and Venice—with the opportunity to take in various sites. Duke is expected to visit the Colosseum and Trevi Fountain in Rome as well as the Ponte Vecchio in Florence and ride along Venice's famous canals.

The trip is the team's first of this sort since 2012 and should provide McCallie with an opportunity to integrate several new members of the program. Although the Blue Devils lost Oderah Chidom and Kendall Cooper to graduation, they bring in four freshmen led by No. 14 recruit and 6-foot-4 forward Jade Williams.

Duke will also be adding a pair of transfers, Bego Fez Davalos and Sofia Roma, into the mix along with Haley Gorecki and Emily Schubert, both of whom sat out all of last season with injuries. The Blue Devils are expected to release their full nonconference schedule later this week.


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