ATHLETICS | The Loyola Marymount men’s basketball team is headed abroad this month. The Lions will travel to Australia, a trip highlighted by new cultural experiences, team-bonding opportunities, and basketball exhibitions against amateur and professional teams. All 13 players, and the men’s basketball staff, will be making the trip.
“New players get to join the players that have already been here,” said Coach Mike Dunlap. “We also get the opportunity to play Lion basketball on foreign soil. Lastly, we get to introduce our guys to a different culture and there is a learning element to this trip that we embrace.”
Junior center Mattias Markusson said, “We’re looking forward to playing against pro teams. We want to see how they play on the court, how they treat each other.” Markusson, a psychology major, is also anticipating the Australia experience, adding, “I’ve heard it’s beautiful and I’m looking forward to seeing some of the tourist sights.”
Each team member will be enrolled in a course on Australian literature. “The opportunity to study the culture of Australia as we travel that great land will not only lead to amazing experiences and images on our cellphones, but also challenge our preconceptions and beliefs,” said K. J. Peters, associate professor of English, who will make the trip with the team. “Australia appears to share much with America, such as language, democracy, and a frontier experience. However, in these similarities we will find profound differences in ways of thinking, believing, and behaving. And in a sense, that is what education and travel share — when you leave the common and known behind, you open yourself up to consider others, other ways of being, and other perspectives.”
The NCAA allows a collegiate team to take an overseas exhibition trip every four years; the women’s basketball team took their allowed trip to the Netherlands and France in 2016. The women’s team is scheduled to play a regular-season tournament in the Puerto Rico Classic in December. In November the men’s team will take part in the Jamaica Classic.
The Lions will arrive in Melbourne on Aug. 11. Visits to the Queen Victoria Market and Eureka Tower highlight some of the early sites the team will visit before games begin. LMU will play three games: in Melbourne, Aug. 12, against Gen X of the National Basketball League; Aug. 14, against Dandenong; and Aug. 16, against Melbourne United. The team heads to Cairns for a final game on Aug. 17 and returns Aug. 20 to Los Angeles. The schedule is subject to change.