According to a report, Duke basketball is in talks to take a trip north of the border this summer. The Blue Devils would travel to Canada for a series of exhibition games.
Breaking: Looks like Coach K and the #Duke Blue Devils will be in #Montréal this summer for a Foreign Tour & play McGill, potentially at Place Bell in Laval. They’ll also play Ryerson in Toronto. Chance for fans to see 🇨🇦 phenom RJ Barrett. More details to follow. #RDS
— Peter Yannopoulos (@PeteYannopoulos) May 1, 2018
You may remember: last summer/fall, Duke was supposed to take a team trip to the Dominican Republic. However, that was called off due to Mike Krzyzewski’s surgery. College basketball teams are allowed to make international trips every four years.
The last time Coach K and Duke basketball took an international trip: Back in August 2011, when the team went to China and Dubai.
Duke’s top incoming freshman R.J. Barrett played his prep basketball in Florida, but hails from Canada; this will allow fans back in his home country to check out Barrett in action.
One of the global games
There are some indirect recruiting opportunities here, too; Basketball continues to gain popularity up in Canada. Starting with rising talents Jamal Murray and Andrew Wiggins, 11 Canadians played in the NBA this season. One of the top young talents in the ACC — Virginia Tech’s Nickeil Alexander-Walker — also hails from Canada.
Two other Canadians — Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph — played prep basketball together at Findlay Prep in Nevada, before going to Texas. After one season in Austin, Thompson and Joseph became first round picks, back in 2011. Subsequently, both have gone on to be key rotation pieces on NBA title teams: Joseph with the Spurs in 2014 and Thompson in Cleveland in 2016.
The upshot: Canada is a rising basketball nation; if Duke can make an inroad north of the border, it could be another boon for the program.