The University of Michigan men’s basketball team will visit the army base Caserma Del Din in Vicenza on Wednesday, Aug. 20, as part of a multi-stop Italian hoops tour.
The Wolverines will start their base visit by serving lunch to and dining with servicemembers at 11:30 a.m., said Rob Veney, coach of the post’s military basketball program and an organizer of the event in conjunction with MWR. At 1 p.m., the team will meet with soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team and 509th Signal Battalion, then conclude their visit with a shootaround and autograph signing from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Michigan’s visit to Italy includes four exhibition games against local Italian All-Star teams, including two in Vicenza, Wolverines associate director of communications Tom Wywrot confirmed. Their swing starts Aug. 17 at Rome, continues Aug. 19 and 20 at Vicenza, and concludes Aug. 22 in Como. Each game at Vicenza starts at 8:30 p.m. local time at Palazzetto dello Sport. Admission costs 6,90 euros; visit www.eventbrite.it to buy online or purchase at the door if space remains.
While Veney said Michigan is the only team with current plans to visit the base, several men’s and women’s NCAA basketball teams will travel through Italy for exhibition games this August. Visit www.collegebasketballtour.com for full schedules and ticket information.
Michigan’s visit comes just more than a year after Caserma Del Din celebrated its July 2013 grand opening.
The Wolverines went 28-9 last season and reached the round of eight in the NCAA Tournament. But coach John Beilein will field a less experienced squad this fall, a group led by returning point guard Derrick Walton Jr. and heralded freshman swingman Kameron Chatman.