The University of Kentucky women’s basketball team will enjoy at least one perk during its international trip this summer that its male counterparts won’t be able to match in the Bahamas — the best Italian food in the world.
The UK women assured themselves of that benefit by traveling directly to the source: The Cats depart Friday for 10 days and nine nights in Italy, where they will play three games against international competition.
The Wildcats will arrive in Rome on Saturday and make stops in Florence and Venice before ending the trip Aug. 13 in Lake Como and Milan. The team’s sightseeing adventures include tours of the Roman Colosseum, Vatican City and more.
This is the fourth time the UK women have traveled overseas for preseason games. The team went to France and Switzerland in 2001, to Finland and Estonia in 1992, and to Japan in 1982.
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UK is tentatively scheduled to play the Bosnia and Herzegovina National Team on Aug. 5 in Rome, TK Hannover of Germany on Aug. 7 in Florence, and Marghera Select of Italy on Aug. 10 in Mestre. All three games are tentatively set for 12:30 p.m. EDT, which is 6:30 p.m. in Italy.
Howard in Mexico
One player who won’t be making the trip to Italy is freshman Rhyne Howard. Howard is representing the United States in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Mexico, which began Wednesday and runs through Tuesday.
Team USA rolled through its first two preliminary-round games, defeating Argentina 87-42 on Wednesday before beating Chile 115-39 on Thursday.
The 6-foot Howard played 17 minutes off the bench in the opener, contributing six points, two rebounds, one assist and one steal. On Thursday, Howard started, played 17 minutes and finished with seven points, eight rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks.
The U.S. wraps up preliminary-round play Friday against Puerto Rico.
UK announced this week that new season tickets for 2018-19 are now for sale.
Fans may purchase tickets online at UKAthletics.com or by calling the UK Ticket Office at 1-800-928-2287.
Lower-level reserved chairback seats are already sold out through season ticket renewals. Lower-level and general admission bench seating and upper-level chairback seating are still available.