Women's Basketball Prepares for European Tour

Aug. 3, 2011


Summer break was cut short for the Kansas women’s basketball team as the squad laced-up their sneakers for a 10 a.m. practice Tuesday morning, marking the first of seven practices before players, coaches and staff board the plane and travel more than 5,000 miles to Italy next week.

Kansas is scheduled to leave Tuesday, Aug. 9 and return Friday, Aug. 19. The 10-day tour starts in Rome, and the team will travel to Florence, Venice and LakeComo.

The Jayhawks are looking forward to facing European competition and having an incredible cultural and team-bonding experience. The trip will also act as an educational experience, touring historical sites such as the Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel, the Spanish Steps and the Pantheon in Rome, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Accademi Gallery and Michelangelo’s famous “David” sculpture in Florence, the Piazza San Marco Square in Venice and the Italian Alps in Lake Como.

Four games will be played during the tour, one in each city, with the first contest in Rome on Friday, Aug. 12. Fans can follow the team during its trip by checking the daily blog on www.KUAthletics.com, which will also include videos and photo galleries.

Kansas returns eight letterwinners from the 2010-11 season, including top offensive players Carolyn Davis (19.0 ppg) and Monica Engelman (12.1 ppg). The Jayhawks finished 21-13 overall and advanced to the postseason for the fourth-straight year making to the second round of the WNIT.

A new rule allows incoming freshmen to participate in the tour meaning KU’s five talented newcomers – Asia Boyd, Chelsea Gardner, Catherine “Bunny” Williams, Natalie Knight and Donielle Breaux – will make the trip giving them a jumpstart at adjusting to college-level play.