Vols to play in Italy this summer

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/SUBMITTED) -- The Tennessee basketball team is traveling to Italy for a four-game exhibition tour Aug. 5-15, 2012. Destinations on the trip are Rome, The Vatican City, Florence, Pisa, the Republic of San Marino, Lake Como and Milan.

“This trip is going to be great for our team and also great for our fans,” Vols head coach Cuonzo Martin said. “For our team, it provides a chance to gain valuable time together on and off the court. For our fans, it’s a chance to combine a European vacation with the opportunity to cheer for their Vols while also traveling with the team. They’ll feel like their part of the program – which is how it should be – because they are an important part of everything we do.”

The Vols will play against club and professional teams during the Italian tour. All of Tennessee’s returning student-athletes, as well as incoming players (with the exception of Division I transfers) are eligible to make the trip to Italy and participate in the exhibition games.

This summer tour gives the Vols a head start on most other schools, which will have to wait until October before they can practice together as a team. Tennessee’s last European tour took place in August 2007 and included stops in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria. The Vols posted a 4-1 record on that tour.

Italy is a familiar setting for Martin, as he played professional basketball for the Felize Scandone franchise in Avellino, Italy, following his time in the NBA. Former Vol Ron Slay (2000-03) now plays for the same franchise.

Basketball Travelers, Inc., is offering travel packages that allow fans to accompany the team throughout its tour of Italy.

The deadline to purchase the travel package is May 1, 2012. To purchase, please contact Becky at Basketball Travelers, Inc., by calling 425-776-2775 or by emailing Becky@basketballtravelers.com.

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