The Creighton Bluejays are headed to Australia for three games against high level local opposition as they prepare for their upcoming NCAA season.
College basketball teams heading down under has become an annual tradition in recent seasons, and this year’s NCAA invasion will feature a school with strong ties to Australian basketball.
Melbourne native Jacob Epperson will headline Creighton’s travelling party for Australian fans. While the 6’11” big man remains on the recovery trail after a series of nagging injuries, Epperson will return home with his Bluejays teammates.
Sam Froling, who signed with the Illawarra Hawks for the upcoming NBL season, is another Australian athlete with ties to the program, having left Creighton in March to pursue a maiden professional contract back home.
Creighton’s Australian tour begins in Sydney and the touring party will be in the country until 13 August. The team will spent the majority of its time in Sydney, Cairns and on the Gold Coast near Brisbane, spending a few days in each location.
The team will begin their tour with a showdown against Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence (CoE) squad.
Update: Rising stars Mojave King and Josh Giddey will likely be playing.
They will then take on the Cairns Taipans before finishing with a game against a Bullets Invitational Squad.
Creighton’s head coach, Greg McDermott yesterday told the White and Blue Review that he is looking forward to the trip down under, and excited about the chance for his team to bond while in a foreign country.
“You get to take your team to a different country, and experience a different culture; things that are a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and they get to do it together. The value in that from a team-building standpoint is immeasurable.
“While the basketball is going to be important over there, it’s secondary to the rest of the itinerary, and the things that they are going to get to experience and do together. That’s what the focus of it is. We want to have fun and get to know each other better. You’re developing trust among teammates and a cohesion that will hopefully carry over once we start practice in September.
Creighton’s Australia tour schedule (all times AEST)
August 5: Creighton vs Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence – 6pm at Shore School.
August 8: Creighton vs Cairns Taipans – 8:30pm at Cairns Convention Centre.
August 12: Creighton vs Bullets Invitational Squad – 7pm at Auchenflower Stadium.