LAWRENCE, Kan. - The University of Kansas women's basketball team departed this weekend for a 10-day tour of Australia. The Jayhawks will play four exhibition games versus various Australian club teams and will tour the cities of Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns during their stay.
"This is going to be a tremendous opportunity for our team," said Jayhawk head coach Bonnie Henrickson, who is entering her fourth season at the helm of the program. "We have been through 10 practices leading up to our departure and will play four games against quality competition while we are in Australia. We are going to use that to our advantage as we try to get our young team prepared for the upcoming season."
The Jayhawks departed from Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon and will arrive in Sydney on Monday morning. Upon arriving in Sydney, the Jayhawks will play games against the Sutherland Sharks and another local team, as well as, tour the city with stops slated for the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Aquarium, Darling Harbour and Manley Beach.
Next up on the tour will be a stop in Brisbane, where the team will arrive on Thursday, August 9. KU will tour the Gold Coast area, the Australia Zoo and the Crocodile Hunter's Famous Zoo before taking on the SEQ Invitational Team in the lone game in Brisbane.
The Jayhawks will depart Brisbane for Cairns on Sunday, August 12, with one game scheduled versus the Cairns Dolphins on their final stop of the tour. In addition to the game versus the Dolphins, KU will take in the sights of the Great Barrier Reef before returning to Lawrence on Wednesday, August 15.
"This trip is not only going to help us on the court, but its also going to be a great educational experience for our players," said Henrickson. "It will be a wonderful bonding experience for our whole program."
Kansas returns 11 letterwinners, including three starters from last season's 11-20 team. Sophomore Danielle McCray is the leading returning scorer as she tossed in 10.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game during her freshman campaign. Fellow sophomore Kelly Kohn, who started every game during her first season with the program, returns 9.8 points and 3.3 rebounds to the line-up, while senior Taylor McIntosh chipped in 6.8 points and 6.0 caroms per contest in 2006-07.