Credit: Stock image | Pixabay

ORONO, Maine — In preparation for the upcoming season, the University of Maine men’s basketball team will travel to Costa Rica from Aug. 14-20 to compete against international opponents, and participate in community service and team-bonding activities.

“We’re very excited to be able to take this trip,” Black Bears head coach Richard Barron said in a press release. “In addition to the trip itself, we are going to take full advantage of our 10 practices in order to start to come together as a team. I am sure that this trip will help build and strengthen the relationships of team members.”

The Black Bears will play three games during the week, facing the University of Calgary twice on Aug. 15 and Aug. 17, while taking on San Ramon Aug. 16.

Calgary went 29-5 last season, winning the U Sports national title, the Canadian equivalent of the NCAA championship.

All games will be played at Ciudad Deportiva in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica.

“With a new staff and half of the roster being new as well, this will be an important time for us to establish expectations and to get to know each other better through the game we all love,” Barron said.

Activities on the tour will include a team service project at Holy Spirit orphanage, a trip to the La Paz Waterfall Gardens and a visit to Crocodile Bridge (home to some of the largest crocodiles in the wild). The team also will take part in a zip line canopy tour in Los Suenos.

The NCAA allows college basketball teams to take trips internationally once every four years.

The UMaine women’s team traveled to Italy in 2015.

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