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Ireland trip details

The Pitt men’s basketball team has announced the details of its trip to Ireland for a six-game, 12-day foreign competition trip in late July.

The Panthers will depart for Ireland on July 29 and return to Pittsburgh on Aug. 9.

As part of the trip, they will meet Steelers owner Dan Rooney, the United States Ambassador to Ireland, for a reception Aug. 2.

“As a lifelong Pittsburgher, it will be very special for me personally to host the Pitt Basketball team here in Dublin during its tour to Ireland,” Rooney said in a statement.

Pitt will play six games on the tour including two contests in Cork at Neptune Stadium (July 31 and Aug. 1), two in Dublin at the Dublin City University (Aug. 3 and Aug. 4) and two in Belfast, Northern Ireland at the Odyssey Arena (Aug. 6 and Aug. 7).

Pitt will face Australia’s oldest and most respected basketball club, the Melbourne Tigers, on Aug. 6 in Belfast. The Tigers feature former Syracuse guard Eric Devendorf and have claimed four Australian NBL championships, including two recent titles in both 2006 and 2008.

Other highlights for the Panthers’ trip will include two tour days in Dublin on Thursday, Aug. 5 and Sunday, Aug. 8. Pitt will continue to practice and follow its normal pre-game procedures each day in Ireland. The Panthers will stay in hotels in three different cities: Dublin, Cork and Belfast.

“From a basketball perspective, this is an outstanding opportunity for our team to get an early start on the season,” coach Jamie Dixon said. “It is also a chance for the players, coaches, support staff, administration and families to experience Ireland.”

The NCAA allows member institutions to take one foreign tour every four years and permits 10 practice days prior to the date of departure.

Pitt began team practices today. Panther senior center Gary McGhee missed practice so he could attend the three-day Amar’e Stoudamire Skills Academy Camp in Chicago, which runs through Saturday.

Freshman Cameron Wright and J.J. Moore can make the trip provided they pass at least three credit hours during the summer term prior to departure. They are enrolled.

This will be the second foreign tour for the Pitt basketball team since Dixon became head coach. In 2004, Pitt traveled to Toronto.

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