The Auburn Tigers are going international.
The team announced in a version Monday that the team would travel to Israel from July 31 to August 10 to play three pre-season games. Auburn will face the Israel U20 national team in the first two games and then the senior national team in the final game on August 8.
Here’s what head coach Bruce Pearl had to say about what he calls an “educational experience”:
“These trips abroad were one of the greatest teaching moments I’ve been part of in 40 years of coaching college basketball. Israel hasn’t been your typical destination for basketball teams. Still, Israel is one of the top two or three countries in the world in terms of the quality of competition and support for professional basketball.
As Pearl said, Israel has a strong basketball culture. The Israel U20 national team has performed well in competition, winning medals at the 2018 and 2019 FIBA Europe U20 Championships (silver and gold, respectively). The senior team has had a tougher time lately in FIBA qualifiers and tournaments, but Israel has had some NBA talent on its national teams in the past and should be a formidable opponent for Auburn.
Preseason games should be a good challenge for the Tigers before they start their season for real against collegiate teams.