KNOXVILLE — With the Tennessee Basketball program set to get an early jump on the 2017-18 season during a summer tour Spain and France, the Volunteers held their first of 10 extra summer practices Friday at Pratt Pavilion.
The trip overseas, which runs Aug. 2-12, will see the Vols make stops in Barcelona, Valencia and Paris. The 11-day trip will feature three exhibition games against European clubs and plenty of sightseeing — unique and valuable opportunities for building team chemistry heading into the college season.
“We’re all excited about this trip for a lot of reasons,” rising junior Kyle Alexander said. “Some of us — myself included — have never been overseas before. So that whole experience will be something new for a lot of us. But also, the opportunity to get some extra team practice time during the summer and then play three actual games, that’s going to help our development as a team. We’re very fortunate to have an opportunity to make a trip like this, and we plan to make the most of it.”
NEWCOMER JERSEY NUMBERS
Four of Tennessee’s five newcomers were on hand for Friday’s workout as forwards Zach Kent (Magnolia, Delaware) and Derrick Walker (Kansas City) as well as junior college transfer Chris Darrington (Toledo, Ohio; Vincennes University) and graduate transfer James Daniel III (Hampton, Virginia; Howard University) are officially enrolled. Only forward Yves Pons (Fuveau, France) has yet to arrive on Rocky Top.
All five newcomers have been assigned their jersey numbers.
3 – James Daniel III
15 – Derrick Walker
32 – Chris Darrington
33 – Zach Kent
35 – Yves Pons
Rising junior Brad Woodson has switched jersey numbers and will wear No. 12.
THE TRAINING ROOM
With preparation for Europe underway, three Vols are sidelined with injuries.
James Daniel III remains limited as he recovers from a chipped bone in his left ankle — the same injury that caused him to miss all but two games last season at Howard.
Also continuing to progress in his rehab is guard Lamonte Turner, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder last month. Barring any setbacks, Turner could return to full participation by the end of the summer.
Forward John Fulkerson, who continues to rehab the dislocated right elbow and fractured right wrist that limited him to just 10 games last season, underwent surgery on his left shoulder last month to repair a torn labrum. The Kingsport, Tennessee, native is sidelined indefinitely.
All three will be unavailable for this month’s Rocky Top Summer League, which begins June 15.
EUROPEAN TOUR ITINERARY
DAY 1 | AUG. 2 | DEPARTURE
Overnight flight to Barcelona
DAY 2 | AUG. 3 | BARCELONA
Orientation walking tour
La Boqueria Food Market
DAY 3 | AUG. 4 | BARCELONA
Guided tour of the city
1992 Olympic sites
Olympic team-building experience
DAY 4 | AUG. 5 | BARCELONA
Guide tour of La Sagrada Família
DAY 5 | AUG. 6 | BARCELONA | VALENCIA
Travel to Valencia via Cambrils
Catamaran cruise with BBQ lunch
Evening at leisure
DAY 6 | AUG. 7 | VALENCIA
Bullfighting museum & arena
DAY 7 | AUG. 8 | VALENCIA
Beach time in Valencia
Paella cooking class (optional)
DAY 8 | AUG. 9 | VALENCIA | PARIS
Tour City of Arts & Sciences
Evening flight to Paris
DAY 9 | AUG. 10 | PARIS
Guided tour of the city
Arc de Triomphe
DAY 10 | AUG. 11 | PARIS
Visit the Louvre Museum
Eiffel Tower (evening)
Seine River cruise
DAY 11 | AUG. 12 | RETURN
Flight back to the United States