NKU Women's Basketball Team Traveling to Costa Rica for Exhibition Series
The Northern Kentucky University women's basketball team will have one more chance to elevate its game this summer, punctuating its offseason conditioning program with a week-long trip to Costa Rica beginning on Thursday.
The Norse will play three exhibition games during the trip, two against the Costa Rica senior national team and one against the Costa Rica U21 national team. In addition, the team will conduct several youth basketball clinics and will engage in other team building activities as they prepare for the beginning of the 2015-16 school year and season.
"This is a huge team building opportunity for us and a chance to play against some different competition," said head coach Dawn Plitzuweit, who is entering her fourth season with the Norse. "Plus, this will be a cultural experience for our student-athletes. We're not just developing basketball players, we're developing well-rounded young women, and this will be a chance for them to gain some perspective of a different culture and compare it to what they have."
The team will depart at 6 a.m. from the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky Airport for San Jose, Costa Rica and will get right to the court, taking on the Costa Rica national team at 8 p.m. in Cartago. The Norse will have a quick turnaround, playing a 1 p.m. matinee the following day against the Costa Rica University national team at Colegio Seminario in San Jose.
"We'll definitely have to battle through some adversity with the scheduling of these games, but that's another way we'll have to step up," added Plitzuweit. "Playing these quick back-to-back games will get us ready for the grind we'll face during the course of this year."
NKU's game schedule will conclude on Sunday with an 8 p.m. tipoff in Cartago against the Costa Rica national team.
This trip marks the first time the Norse have left the United States for training since the 2005 season, when the women's team spent a portion of the summer in Australia. Assistant coach Karmen Graham was a player on that 2005 squad and saw the trip as a hugely positive experience.
"At the time, I don't think I fully understood the value of that trip, maybe because of the similarity in culture," said Graham. "I appreciate the experience more now than I really did then. This will be a very enriching experience for the team to experience something different, a different culture and way of life, and to really come together as a team to put those puzzle pieces together for success."
The team will be blogging its adventures throughout the seven days in the country. Fans can follow along at nkunorse.com/costarica to get daily updates on the Norse.