Update - Sunday, Aug. 18
The Tritons are 2-0 so far in Costa Rica. On Friday, Aug. 16, they defeated Grecia, a club team located just outside of San José, by a score of 70-54. The next night, they took down San Ramon, another club squad, 85-50. Drew Dyer had 24 points and 10 rebounds against San Ramon, while Zach McMillan posted 11 points and grabbed 15 boards. Matt Bailey and MacKenzie McCullough each had 14 points, Hunter Walker dropped in 10 and James McCann dished out five assists.
LA JOLLA, Calif. - The UC San Diego men's basketball team is set to spend over a week in the Central American country of Costa Rica where the Tritons will play several games, host youth The Tritons are 2-0 so far in Costa Rica. On Friday, Aug. 16, they defeated Grecia, a club team located just outside of San José, by a score of 70-54. The next night, they took down San Ramon, another club squad, 85-50. Drew Dyer had 24 points and 10 rebounds against San Ramon, while Zach McMillan posted 11 points and grabbed 15 boards. Matt Bailey and MacKenzie McCullough each had 14 points, Hunter Walker dropped 10 and James McCann dished out five assists.clinics and enjoy some team bonding prior to the start of the 2013-14 academic and athletic year.
"We have been really excited about the prospect of this trip for some time as it will be a great experience competitively and culturally," said UCSD head coach Chris Carlson." It will give us the chance to immerse ourselves in a different culture and allow us to share and promote the game we love with the youth of Costa Rica."
Following a morning practice session in La Jolla on Wednesday, Aug. 14, coaches and players will depart for Los Angeles International Airport. An overnight flight will culminate in a Thursday morning arrival at Juan Santamaria International Airport just outside of San José, Costa Rica's capital city.
On the trip will be seniors Matt Bailey, James McCann and MacKenzie McCullough, sophomores Drew Dyer, Treavon Francis, Zach McMillan, Michael Robinson and Hunter Walker and redshirt freshman Aleks Lipovic. Carlson, along with assistant coaches Eric Olen and Gerred Link, will also be traveling.
The Tritons jump immediately into basketball mode, putting on a youth clinic Thursday morning in San José. They will play their first of four games during the trip that evening against a local club team.
Games will follow International Basketball Federation (FIBA) rules. Differences from the college game include a 24-second shot clock, a deeper three-point line, the absence of goaltending and a wider lane.
On Friday, a second youth clinic will be held in San José, followed by a contest against the Costa Rican National Team.
Costa Rica recently grabbed a bronze medal at the Confederación Centroamericana de Baloncesto (Central American Basketball Confederation, COCABA) Championship, edging Honduras by a score of 62-59 on July 29 in San Salvador, El Salvador.
The COCABA Championship is a regional Central American tournament on the path to qualifying for the FIBA World Championship and the Olympics. Teams placing first, second or third (and sometimes fourth) in COCABA move on to the Centrobasket Tournament, a qualifier for the FIBA Americas Championship.
"We know the competition is going to be top-notch and we have been preparing in that vein," said Carlson. "Basketball is very popular in Costa Rica and their recent performances in international play reflect that."
UCSD will depart the San José area on Saturday for San Ramon, a 90-minute bus ride west-northwest of the capital. After taking on another local club team, the Tritons will get right back on the road and head for La Fortuna, about a one-hour drive to the northwest. The city lies in the shadow of the Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica's most active volcano until 2010.
Sunday, the Tritons take to the treetops with a zipline tour above the Arenal-area jungle canopy.
The team will spend Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in the beach town of Tamarindo on the Nicoyo Peninsula, situated on Costa Rica's northern Pacific coast. The area is well known for its many excellent surf spots and abundance of outdoor activities.
On Thursday, the Tritons head back to San Ramon and once again face off against the Costa Rican National Team.
The excursion comes to and end on Friday, Aug. 23, as the group departs San José for a return to the United States.
"We have been planning and fundraising for this trip for several years now," said Carlson. "A lot of good people have donated time and effort to provide this valuable experience for our student-athletes."
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