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Which women’s basketball teams are taking foreign tours in 2024? – The Next



Which women’s basketball teams are taking foreign tours in 2024? – The Next

At least 29 Division I teams are traveling this summer, according to information provided to The Next by 10 leading tour companies and several schools’ athletic departments. (Additional tour companies did not respond to multiple requests by email and phone. This story will be updated if more information becomes available.)

Team Destination Dates
Charlotte Greece and Italy Aug. 5-15
Coastal Carolina Greece Aug. 3-12
Creighton Greece and Spain Aug. 4-13
Fordham Greece Aug. 10-18
Furman Greece Aug. 10-19
Hawaii Japan June 4-13
Illinois Croatia and Italy Aug. 2-12
Loyola Maryland Spain June 27-July 5
LSU Croatia and Greece July 31-Aug. 11
Maine Australia May 12-22
Marshall Italy Aug. 11-17
Maryland Croatia and Montenegro June 24-July 4
North Carolina A&T Bahamas Aug. 6-11
Penn Croatia and Italy Aug. 9-20
Portland Croatia and Greece Aug. 10-22
Providence Croatia and Greece Aug. 5-15
Purdue Portugal and Spain Aug. 5-15
Richmond Spain Aug. 4-13
Saint Joseph’s Croatia and Italy Aug. 3-11
Saint Mary’s Italy June 24-July 4
Siena Ireland Aug. 5-14
SMU Croatia and Greece Aug. 3-13
Stanford Italy Aug. 18-28
Tennessee Tech Portugal Aug. 3-11
Troy Costa Rica July 18-25
USC Upstate Greece Aug. 6-16
Wake Forest Croatia and Greece Aug. 8-18
West Virginia Croatia and Italy July 29-Aug. 8
Wichita State U.S. Virgin Islands July 28-Aug. 2
Note: This table includes Division I women’s basketball teams only.

NCAA rules allow teams to take foreign tours once every four years. Nearly 80 teams traveled in 2022 or 2023, making them unable to travel this summer. Still, more teams are traveling this summer than in 2022, when the COVID-19 pandemic prompted some teams to postpone their tours another year.

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Foreign tours provide clear benefits on the court for teams that travel. Teams play exhibition games while they’re abroad, and the NCAA allows them to have 10 extra practices before they depart. This benefit can be especially valuable for teams that have new head coaches or that have had lots of roster turnover due to transfers or graduation.

Maryland is a prime example of this, welcoming 10 newcomers for the 2024-25 season. The Terrapins leave for a tour of Croatia and Montenegro on Monday.

“That is invaluable to be able to have those 10 [extra] practices and be able to take your team over and get some games under your belt,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese told The Next’s Howard Megdal on an episode of Locked On Women’s Basketball in May. “And [it] couldn’t have worked out [better]. I never thought we’d have this many new players coming in and here we are. So the timing is absolutely perfect to be able to have this summer and the access we’re going to be able to have.”

For many coaches, though, the basketball benefits are secondary to all that players learn about the culture and history of their destinations. They visit monuments, museums and historic sites; eat (and sometimes learn to cook) local cuisine; and shop at local markets. During Maine women’s basketball’s trip to Australia in May, the itinerary included the Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, an Australian football game and a wildlife sanctuary called Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures.

Some coaches require players to learn about where they’re going ahead of time. For example, before Hawaii women’s basketball left for Japan on June 4, the players took a class from the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce on Japanese customs and etiquette.

“The obvious reason for the trip is for the team building and team bonding experience for these young women,” Hawaii head coach Laura Beeman said in a press release. “The less obvious reason is the experience they’re going to get in a different culture in a beautiful place like Japan, and also spreading the aloha spirit to Japan.”

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At least nine teams that made the 2024 NCAA Tournament are taking foreign tours this summer, including Elite Eight participant LSU and Sweet 16 participant Stanford. LSU will visit Croatia and Greece from July 31 to Aug. 11, and Stanford will head to Italy from Aug. 18 to 28.

In addition, Saint Mary’s will take the first foreign tour in program history when it heads to Italy on Monday.

Sixteen of the 29 teams known to be traveling this summer will visit one country, while 13 will visit two countries.

Europe is by far the most popular continent for foreign tours, but teams are also traveling to destinations in Asia, Australia, Central America and North America. Greece (at least 11 teams visiting), Croatia (10) and Italy (eight) are the most popular countries, just as they were in 2023.

Maine traveled the farthest for its tour of Australia. The first leg of the trip, from Orono, Maine, to Sydney, Australia, took the Black Bears 31 hours. In contrast, North Carolina A&T won’t even change time zones to go to the Bahamas in August. Wichita State will also stay relatively close to home when it visits the U.S. Virgin Islands in July and August.

However close or far teams go, many players will get an experience unlike any other in their college careers this summer. Stay tuned to see how it benefits them on and off the court.

To learn more about teams’ recent experiences with foreign tours, check out:

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