Men's Basketball to Take 'Big Blue Bahamas' Tour

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(WTVQ-TV, LLC)
Reported by: Keenan Singleton
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Updated: 6/13 4:53 pm

NASSAU, Bahamas – The University of Kentucky men’s basketball team, the 2014 NCAA Division I national runner-up, will face international teams from the Dominican Republic, France and Puerto Rico during a foreign tour – named the Big Blue Bahamas tour – from August 10-17 in the Bahamas.

Kentucky will play the Dominican Republic national team, the Puerto Rico national team reserves and French first-division club team Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket, twice each over an eight-day span at Nassau’s 2,500-seat Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium, recently renovated in the spring of 2014. The Dominican Republic team will use the games against Kentucky as a tune-up for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, which begins in late August. The Dominican Republic is No. 26 in the current FIBA World Rankings.

NCAA rules allow for a foreign tour by an intercollegiate team once every four academic years. Kentucky’s Big Blue Bahamas tour is a joint venture between Complete Sports Management and the Bahamas Basketball Federation.

“We are thrilled to bring together top basketball teams from all over the world and showcase it at such a beautiful setting,” said Complete Sports Management President Lea Miller. “It is always a pleasure working with the Bahamas Basketball Federation, and we are very appreciative of their support. The University of Kentucky is truly one of the most dominant programs in college basketball, and it will be fun to watch them compete on this global stage against teams from the Dominican Republic, France and Puerto Rico."

The Wildcats, 29-11 a season ago, will open the tour on Sunday, August 10 against Puerto Rico at 5 pm ET. The next day, UK will face Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket at 1 pm ET. Tuesday, August 12, Kentucky will play the Puerto Rico reserves for the second time.

After a day off on Wednesday, August 13, Kentucky will face the Dominican Republic. The second game against Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket will be played either August 15 or 16 (date to be determined). Kentucky will finish the tour on Sunday, August 17 against the Dominican Republic.

"We are excited to make the trip to the Bahamas for our foreign tour,” said Kentucky head coach John Calipari, who will begin his sixth season as the Wildcats’ head coach. “Working with Lea and Mason Miller has been a pleasure. My goal is for our team to grow together, to learn about one another, to have fun and to compete against teams that will stretch us out. These teams should be a challenge that will let us really see where we are at this point. But again, learning and having fun will be the emphasis of the trip. It's another opportunity for us to fail fast.”

“The Bahamas Basketball Federation is delighted to have a team such as Kentucky embrace our shores,” said Bahamas Basketball Federation Vice President Mario Bowleg. “We know that Kentucky will bring a high level of basketball performance with lots of excitement for our Bahamian basketball fans to experience. We take this opportunity to thank Ms. Lea Miller and her team, whom have worked closely with the Federation, to bring such an elite group to our shores, not just to play basketball but to bond as a unit and experience paradise all at the same time.”

Fan travel packages for Kentucky’s Big Blue Bahamas tour will be available. For more information, visit ukfantravel.com. To book travel packages, please call 1-855-UKBBALL (1-855-852-2255).

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