The Gee-Gees men’s basketball program will experience another program first when the team travels to Seoul, South Korea to compete in the 2015 Asia-Pacific University Basketball Challenge at the end of June.
The trip is by invitation of the Korea Basketball Association and will see Ottawa play against national team entrants from Japan, South Korea, and Russia who are also competing at the 2015 Summer Universiade in Gwangju, South Korea.
The team will depart Ottawa on June 22 and compete from June 25-30.
“This will be a great experience for our guys,” said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin, who recently returned from the FIBA Americas Under-16 Championship in Argentina where he was part of the coaching staff which guided Canada to a second place finish.
“The chance to visit another part of the world as a team and participate in this tournament with high quality international teams is a life experience for all of these guys.”
The team will be staying in the southern part of downtown Seoul, close to national monuments and the site of the 1988 Summer Olympic Games.
Ottawa will bring a roster of twelve players, including recently graduated senior Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue. Veterans Mike L’Africain, Vikas Gill, Mehdi Tihani, and Moe Ismail are also travelling, while Matt Plunkett and Alex Ratté are making the trip despite injury. Andrew DeGroot, Kiari Gerba, Noel Jones, Mackenzie Morrison, Brandon Robinson, and Zacharie Traer will all see significant floor time during the tournament as well.
Team manager Paul Neves and assistant coach Justin Serresse will join Derouin on the bench during the tournament.
Ottawa’s Johnny Berhanemeskel and Caleb Agada will also be traveling to South Korea but will not overlap with the Gee-Gees trip as they were selected to Canada’s national team entry for the Universiade in Gwangju. That competition begins on July 3 and is situated four hours south of Seoul. For more information about that tournament, read the team announcement here.