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NEWS: Costa Rica trip headlines 2019 NCAA exhibition schedule

Photo: Greg Mason.
Photo: Greg Mason.

The Gee-Gees men's basketball team is set to kick off their annual slate of exhibition games against NCAA competition this August. For the first time in three years, the team will be going international, as they once again head to Costa Rica for valuable team building time and four exhibition matchups.

The seven-day trip to Central America will have the team taking in the culture of San Jose, while participating in four total games against two NCAA Division I squads in Ball State and Drake.

Ball State finished with a 16-17 record overall, finishing with a 6-12 mark in the Mid-American Conference last year. Meanwhile, Drake posted a 24-10 overall record, good enough for a second-place finish at 12-6 in the Missouri Valley Conference. 

Both the Cardinals and Bulldogs were second-round exits of their respective conference championship tournaments last season.

With much of the Gee-Gees' current active roster making the trip, the team is expecting that 13 different players will see game action over the course of their time in Costa Rica.

Nine returning players making the trip include the team's top-three scorers from last season in Guillaume Pépin (15.4), Gage Sabean (15), and Calvin Epistola (12.9). Meanwhile, four active freshmen will look to impress coaches over the course of the week.

The emphasis of the trip however is not focused on performance alone, but rather the experience of bonding as a team. Off the court, the team will be sightseeing, spending valuable time on the beach, as well as tackling a white-water rafting excursion.

Upon returning home, the Gee-Gees will have a short break before playing a lone Division I exhibition matchup at Montpetit Hall. The Albany Great Danes will make the short trip to Ottawa on Aug. 17 for a Saturday night matchup with the Garnet and Grey at 8 p.m.

Last season, Albany posted a 12-20 overall record, with a sixth place regular season finish at 7-9 in the America East Conference. The Great Danes were a quarterfinal exit at the hands of UMBC in their conference tournament. 

In their only prior matchup, the Great Danes defeated the Gee-Gees with a 97-85 final score in August 2011 at Montpetit Hall. 

The matchup will be the only chance for fans to catch the Gee-Gees in NCAA exhibition action this summer. 

Tickets are now on sale at tickets.geegees.ca, with special summer pricing of $5 for adults and free admission for youth 17 years old and under.

2019 NCAA exhibition schedule:

August 1 – vs. Ball State (San Jose, Costa Rica)

August 2 – vs. Ball State (San Jose, Costa Rica)

August 4 – vs. Drake (San Jose, Costa Rica)

August 6 – vs. Drake (San Jose, Costa Rica)

August 17 – vs. Albany (Montpetit Hall)