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Xavier basketball will take a preseason trip to Spain

Team 98 will get a jump start on the year by spending a week in the Iberian peninsula.

Soccer: Women’s World Cup-Brazil at Spain
They also play soccer in Spain, or so I'm told.
Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Per the release:

The Xavier University men’s basketball team will be taking a Summer Tour in Spain this August. Second-year head coach Travis Steele will be taking the squad to Barcelona and Madrid from August 7-15.

“This is a great educational and basketball opportunity for our student-athletes and coaching staff,” said Steele. “From a basketball standpoint, this will give us a great head start on building our team chemistry. We will have at least six new players that we will be adding to our returnees. We will get a chance to practice for a couple weeks before we leave and play three games while in Spain. Over and above the basketball, the cultural experience and education our guys will remember for a lifetime.”

At least one of the games will be played at the world-famous Badalona, usually referred to as Pavelló Olímpic de Badalona, the arena where the U.S. Dream Team won the gold medal in the 1992 Summer Olympics.

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It's hard to quantify exactly what a preseason tour is worth, but I have to imagine this will be a great thing for the team. They'll be afforded 10 extra practices to prepare, which should help the Muskies blood in the freshman class, grad transfer Jason Carter, and any other immediately eligible personnel who might crop up between now and then. This, in turn, will almost certainly help Xavier avoid the slow start that troubled them this season.

This is also an awesome, almost literally once in a lifetime, opportunity for most of these players. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that most people in their demographic don't get to do something like this during their college experience. They've put themselves in this position through years of hard work and dedication, and this is a well-earned chance for these dudes. In terms of personal experience as well as basketball development, this trip is a great thing for the team.