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Cougars announce Australian basketball excursion

Coach Ken Bone and his Washington State Cougars are bound for Australia. (Associated Press)
Coach Ken Bone and his Washington State Cougars are bound for Australia. (Associated Press)

The Washington State men’s basketball team will travel to Australia for a two-week trip beginning Aug. 3 that will include games against five Australian teams and stops in four different regions of the country, the school announced Thursday.

Included in the trip are stops in the home areas of WSU’s three Australian players. They’ll play against the Melbourne Tigers of the National Basketball League in the hometown of Dexter Kernich-Drew; against the NBL’s Wollongong Hawks in Sydney, the hometown of incoming junior college transfer James Hunter; and against the Brisbane Spartans of the South East Australian Basketball League in Gold Coast, which is near Brock Motum’s hometown of Brisbane. A stop in Cairns will round out the trip.

The Cougars will also play games against the North Invitational Team of the Australian Basketball Association and the Cairns Taipans of the NBL.

They’ll take time to experience Australian culture, too, with planned visits to the Great Barrier Reef and the Melbourne Opera House, among others.

“We are very excited, as a team, to make this trip to Australia,” coach Ken Bone said in a statement. “Not only will we have a great opportunity to compete against elite international competition, but we will also have the chance to really experience Australia and different cultures. With three Australians on our team, I think it will be very special for the guys to see more about where their teammates are from, as it will be great for the Aussies to make a trip home and play in front of family and friends.”