Rocket men's basketball program to visit Greece in August | UToledo News

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Rocket men’s basketball program to visit Greece in August

The Toledo men’s basketball program will get an early start to its 2013-14 campaign with a trip to Greece from Monday, Aug. 5, through Friday, Aug. 16.

thumb-rocket-color-logoThe Rockets will play four games during their time overseas as well as have the opportunity to take in some sightseeing at several mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece.

The NCAA allows one foreign tour every four years for a program with teams allotted as many as 10 days of practices prior to such a trip.

“This trip is designed to provide our players a tremendous cultural and educational experience, and the basketball part is truly secondary in that regard,” Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk said. “It will allow us to introduce our three incoming freshmen to the way our program operates earlier than usual, and we can also use it as a great recruiting tool in the future.”

Kowalczyk views the trip to Greece as a building block for the Rockets, who posted their second-straight winning season in 2012-13 and tied for first place with a 10-6 league record in the Mid-American Conference’s West Division with Western Michigan.

“Developing the chemistry of our team for next season will be huge since we are adding seven players to our playing group,” Kowalczyk said. “A trip like this gives our players and staff an opportunity to learn about each other away from the court and develop a bond that can be beneficial once our season starts.”

The Rockets return six letter winners — seniors Rian Pearson, Matt Smith and Richard Wonnell; junior Julius Brown; and sophomores Nathan Boothe and Josh Lemons — next year as well as two junior transfers (Justin Drummond, J.D. Weatherspoon), one redshirt freshman (Aubrey Williams) and four newcomers (sophomore Angel Aparicio and freshmen Zach Garber, Jordan Lauf and Jonathan Williams).

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