Three weeks remain before the Stanford men's basketball team embarks on its 14-day trip to Italy, which includes six games against international competition with stops in Rome, Florence, Venice and Lake Como.
Highlighting the tour are contests against Serie A teams Granarolo Bologna and Consultinvest Pesaro, along with Serie A2 Gold squad Scaligera Basket Verona. The Lega Basket Serie A is the first-tier level club competition in Italian professional basketball where play determines the national champion.
The first leg of Stanford's trip begins in Rome on Aug. 23 before departing for Florence three days later. After a stop on the Adriatic Coast, the second week of the tour gets underway in Venice. Following a visit to Lake Como, the Cardinal will depart Milan on Sept. 4 and return to campus.
Prior to arriving in Italy, Stanford will spend three days in Washington, D.C., continuing its preparation while visiting the U.S. Capitol and various other monuments and museums.
Stanford will hold 10 team practices over the summer. The NCAA allows teams to travel overseas for an international tour once every four years. The Cardinal previously toured Spain (2011), Italy (2007) and Australia/New Zealand (2001).
In addition to the games, the Cardinal's cultural experience will be enhanced with stops at the Colosseum, Vatican, St. Peter's Square, Sistine Chapel and Lake Como. A visit to the Stanford Institute in Florence, part of the Bing Overseas Studies Program, is also on the schedule.
"Our foreign tour to Italy will be an amazing cultural and team-building experience," said Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins. "It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the art and culture of ancient Rome, Florence and Venice. This will help us improve on the court as we get the chance to compete against other teams, in addition to off the court, as we strengthen our bonds as friends and teammates."
In other Cardinal basketball news:
Wade Morgan, Chasson Randle and Jack Ryan have been named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Honors Court.
Meanwhile, Stanford was one of 20 NCAA Division I programs to earn the prestigious NABC Team Academic Excellence Award, recognizing outstanding academic achievement by a team with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Stanford and South Carolina were the only major-conference programs among the 20 NCAA Division I institutions to be honored.
The NABC Honors Court recognizes the talents of student-athletes off the court, and the hard work they exhibit in the classroom. In order to be named to the Honors Court, a student-athlete must meet a high standard of academic criteria. The qualifications are as follows:
Academically a junior or senior and a varsity player must have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher at the conclusion of the 2014-15 academic year; students must have matriculated at least one year at their current institution; and teams must be a member of an NCAA Division I, II, III, or NAIA Institution