The last time the Norfolk State men’s basketball program made an overseas trip, the coaching staff used that tour to scout a Spartan team that needed to replace several of its best players. Four years later, NSU again finds itself in a similar situation as the Spartans prepare to head on another summer excursion. Norfolk State’s men’s basketball team will travel to Costa Rica from Aug. 12-17 and compete in three games while taking in the sights and sounds of the Central American country as part of an early start to the 2016-17 season. A total of 13 Spartan players, including eight newcomers, will join the coaching staff in making the more than six-hour trek by flight from Norfolk to Costa Rica.
“We wanted to take full advantage of this opportunity to travel during the summer, especially for this new group,” said NSU head coach Robert Jones. “This team will have several newcomers and returnees who are being thrusted into new roles, and this trip will give the coaching staff a first look at possible combinations and lineups. The competition we will receive in Costa Rica will be second to none.”
The Spartans will leave on Aug. 12 and arrive in the Costa Rican capital of San Jose. They will play the University of Ottawa on Aug. 13 at 4 p.m. EST (3 p.m. local time), the Costa Rica Invitational on Aug. 14 at 5p.m. EST and Brock University on Aug. 15 at 11 a.m. They will fly back on the morning of Aug. 17. “The University of Ottawa is a top-10 team in Canada year after year and would compare to a mid-major in the U.S.,” said Jones. “The Costa Rican team will have some semi-pro players competing, and Brock University is equivalent to a top NCAA Division II program.”