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College basketball bonanza down under in August
Australian basketball fans will once again be treated with marquee college basketball this off-season, with a number of NCAA Division I men's and women's teams touring down under in August.
The Washington Huskies and UCLA Bruins men's teams are two of those teams who are set to face off against the Sydney Uni Lions. After the university hosted number one draft pick Ben Simmons and the LSU Tigers last year, a pair of projected NBA lottery picks, Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball, will be hitting Australian shores in preparation for the college basketball season.
The Huskies will square off against Sydney Uni on the 8th of August, while the Bruins game is set for the 23rd of August. Both games will be played at Bryden's Stadium and are apart of both school's Australian pre-season tours. Bruins fans in Sydney are sure to pack out their match against the Lions, as it will be the only game the 11-time NCAA champions play in New South Wales. The exhibition games will mark the first ever time an Australian university will compete with US college programs.
The Frankston Blues of the SEABL will also face off against the Huskies on the 4th of August. The game will be live streamed online.
"The game is a great chance for our Blues players to compete against one of the best Colleges in the USA and for our young juniors watching, it’s a chance for them to dream big and hope they can play at that level one day," Frankston High Performance Manager, Steve Blackley, said in a release.
On the 24th of August, the Eastern Washington Eagles will visit the Nunawading Basketball Centre to take on a Spectres squad made up of players from their SEABL and Big V teams.
The Eagles roster includes five Australians, including senior Felix Von Hofe (Melbourne), sophomore Geremy McKay (Melbourne), sophomore Jesse Hunt (Geraldton) and freshman redshirt Michael Wearne (Croydon). The lone newcomer to the squad from Australia is freshman Mason Peatling (Melbourne).
“It’s exciting to welcome Head Coach Jim Hayford and his Eastern Washington team to Nunawading Basketball,” Nunawading Basketball Operations Manager, Paul Flynn, said in a release.
“We consider it a great privilege to host such a strong and reputable NCAA program. The tour provides Nunawading Basketball a fantastic opportunity to host an exciting event for our community."
Eastern Washington will commence their tour with a game against the Sydney Kings, and conclude it with a contest against the Cairns Taipans.
Women's basketball will also be represented in the preseason, as the South Dakota Coyotes will take part in three games against the Victoria Metro 'Elite', the WNBL's Melbourne Boomers, and the Hornsby Spiders.
"This is an incredible opportunity for our program," said South Dakota head coach, Dawn Plitzuweit, in a release.
"We are thrilled to have this time together while we prepare to depart and especially while we are traveling as a group down under. The time that we are fortunate enough to spend together in basketball is tremendous and will be greatly enhanced by our bonding off the court."
City of Sydney Basketball Association are hosting 4 games at their home venue at Alexandria. Both Washington teams are scheduled to play, while the women's sides from Princeton and UCLA will take part in a blockbuster double-header fixture on Saturday, 27 August. General Manager Mark Dalton has confirmed that live stats will be available for all games hosted by the City of Sydney Basketball Association.
Houston Baptist's women's side will also visit Australia as part of their preseason preparations, taking on the Melbourne Boomers and Dandenong Rangers WNBL teams as part of their playing schedule.
College Basketball Australian Schedules
(schedules are not yet all complete and will be updated as details are available - please send us a message)
Washington Huskies (Men) | Pac-12 Wednesday, August 3: vs Dandenong Rangers (6:30pm AEST, Dandenong Basketball Centre) Thursday, August 4: vs Frankston Blues (7:00pm AEST, Frankston Basketball Centre) Sunday, August 7: vs Mainland Eagles (in New Zealand) Monday, August 8: vs Sydney University Lions (7:30pm AEST, Bryden's Stadium, Darlington) Wednesday, August 10: vs Sydney Kings - NBL (7:00pm AEST, City of Sydney Basketball Association, Alexandria)
Washington Huskies (Women) | Pac-12 Tuesday, August 16: vs Sydney Uni Flames - WNBL (7:00pm AEST, City of Sydney Basketball Association, Alexandria)
South Dakota Coyotes (Women) | Summit League Wednesday, August 10: vs Victoria Metro U18 (7:00pm AEST, State Basketball Centre) Thursday, August 11: vs Melbourne Boomers - WNBL (7:00pm AEST, Bentleigh Secondary College) Tuesday, August 16: vs Hornsby Spiders (7:30pm AEST, Hornsby Basketball Stadium)
UCLA Bruins (Men) | Pac-12 Tuesday, August 23: vs Sydney University Lions (7:30pm AEST, Bryden's Stadium, Darlington) Saturday, August 27: vs Melbourne United - NBL (7:00pm AEST, State Basketball Centre) Monday, August 29: vs Brisbane Bullets - NBL (7:oopm AEST, Logan Metro Sports Centre)
UCLA Bruins (Women) | Pac-12 Sunday, August 21: vs Southern Districts Spartans (1:00pm AEST, Rowland Cowan Stadium, Carina) Tuesday, August 23: vs Cairns Dolphins (7:00pm AEST, Cairns Basketball Stadium, Cairns) Friday, August 26: vs Sydney Uni Flames - WNBL (7:00pm AEST, Bryden's Stadium, Darlington) Saturday, August 27: vs Waratah All Star Championship Women (8:00pm AEST, City of Sydney Basketball Association, Alexandria)
Houston Baptist Huskies (Women) | Southland Conference Wednesday, August 17: Penrith Panthers (5:00pm AEST) Friday, August 19: vs Illawarra Hawks (6:00pm AEST) Monday, August 22: vs Dandenong Rangers - WNBL (6:00pm AEST, Dandenong Basketball Stadium) Tuesday August 23: vs Melbourne Boomers - WNBL (7:30pm AEST, Waverley Basketball Stadium) Thursday, August 25: vs Maitland Mustangs (7:00pm AEST)
Eastern Washington Eagles (Men) | Big Sky
Wednesday, August 17: vs Sydney Kings - NBL (Sydney) Saturday, August 20: vs Diamond Valley Eagles (7:30pm AEST, Diamond Valley Sports & Fitness Center in Greensborough) Sunday, August 21: vs Victorian All-Stars + Coaching Clinic with Jim Hayford (4:00pm AEST, Dandenong Basketball Centre) Monday, August 22: vs Dandenong Rangers (7:00pm AEST, Dandenong Basketball Centre) Tuesday, August 23: vs Frankston Blues (7:00pm AEST, Frankston Basketball Centre) Wednesday, August 24: vs Nunawading Spectres (7:30pm AEST, Nunawading Basketball Centre) Thursday. August 25: vs Waverley Falcons (6:30pm AEST, Waverley Basketball Centre) Sunday, August 28: vs Cairns Taipans - NBL (4:00pm AEST, Cairns)
Princeton Tigers (Women) | Ivy League Thursday, August 25: vs Norths Bears (5:15pm AEST, North Sydney Indoor Sports Centre, Crows Nest) Saturday, August 27: vs Waratah All Star Youth League Women (6:00pm, City of Sydney Basketball Association)