The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team will get to spend some time getting to know first-year head coach A.W. Hamilton on foreign soil this summer.
The school announced this week that the Colonels will take a trip Costa Rica from Aug. 7-12. They’ll play three exhibition games and participate in other group activities during their stay.
NCAA rules allow basketball programs to take an international trip once every four years. EKU traveled to Australia in the summer of 2014.
“My staff and I are extremely excited about taking the team to Costa Rica,” said Hamilton, the 37-year-old Georgetown native and Scott County graduate who was hired in March after spending last season as an assistant coach at North Carolina State. “It will give us a great opportunity to bond and build our brand of exciting basketball.”
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The Colonels will play three games during their stay in San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital city. They’ll take on Laurentian University on Aug. 8 at 8 p.m., San Ramon on Aug. 9 at 9:30 p.m., and Laurentian University again on Aug. 10 at 2 p.m. The team will also participate in a service project at Holy Spirit Orphanage and a zipline canopy tour.
In the weeks leading up to the trip the Colonels will hold eight open practices in Alumni Coliseum, their home court on EKU’s campus. Fans who attend any of the open practices can enter a raffle in which four winners will be drawn on Aug. 6. Two winners will get to travel with the team to Knoxville on Nov. 28 for its game against Tennessee. The other two winners will join the team on its trip to Cincinnati to face Xavier on Dec. 15.
The open practices will be held on the following dates:
July 24, 7 p.m.; July 30, 7 p.m.; July 31, 7 p.m.; Aug. 1, 7 p.m.; Aug. 2, 7 p.m.; Aug. 3, 10:30 a.m.; Aug. 5, 7 p.m.; Aug. 6, 6:30 p.m.