After months of anticipation, St. John's has released details of its upcoming summer tour of Europe.
The Johnnies will travel through France, Italy and Spain for a two-week period beginning August 19th. There, on a tour the program has named "#SJUBB: Taking Europe by Storm," they will play five games against professional teams and experience many educational, cultural and service aspects of the area.
Many high profile programs make similar trips out of the country just months before the season begins to gain valuable on- and off-court experiences. The trip will be the first for the Red Storm of the Steve Lavin era. The Storm last left the United States for a four-day trip to Canada in 2009.
According to NCAA rules, teams are granted an opportunity to travel abroad once every four years and conduct up to ten practices before the trip.
"It's a great opportunity for our 15 student-athletes," Lavin said in the team release. "The practices prior to our departure have been helpful to jumpstart our teaching progression and implement our system at an earlier stage than usual."
St. John's have planned exhibitions against Rouen Basket and Evreux of the French Pro B League, Stella Azzurra of the Italian Nazionale B League, and Spanish teams CB Prat Joventut Badalona and Basquet Manresa. The school will provide daily recaps throughout the trip on the athletics website and using social media.
Reid Forgrave of FOX Sports will also be traveling alongside the Johnnies during the first week of the tour, assembling reports and footage to later be shown on the newly-unveiled Fox Sports 1 Network.
The team will have the opportunity to see some the famous sites of Europe, including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Pantheon, the Roman Coliseum, the Vatican and St. Peter's Basilica.
The trip will be the first opportunity for the Red Storm to play together since adding highly-rated freshman point guard Rysheed Jordan to the roster. The team also welcomes transfers Orlando Sanchez and Max Hooper, along with redshirt senior God`sgift Achiuwa.
"St. John's has historic ties to the areas our team will be visiting, including campuses in Paris, France and Rome, Italy," said Athletic Director Chris Monasch. "The trip is about more than athletic competition for our team; it will emcompass a spirit of global education and the Vincentian Mission of the University via the cultural and service opportunities provided for our student-athletes over the course of two weeks."