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Rutgers women’s basketball taking European trip in August



From left to right, Kaylene Smikle, Antonio Bates and Destiny Adams working out during summer training earlier this week. Photo credit Rutgers Athletics

It’s not just the Rutgers men’s basketball team that’s headed overseas this summer. While Steve Pikiell is taking his program to Senegal and Portugal, Rutgers women’s basketball is taking a trip as well. Head coach Coquese Washington is taking her team to Europe. The Scarlet Knights will visit Greece and Croatia from August 7 through August 17.

Rutgers will play three exhibition games on the trip, one in each location they are visiting. They’ll play in Athens, Greece as well as both Split and Dubrovnik, Croatia. In addition, the program will take educational tours, visit historical locations, and experience the culture of both countries.

“Our trip to Greece and Croatia is another opportunity for our student-athletes to have a unique educational experience, which is an essential part of our program,” head coach Coquese Washington said. “We will learn about different cultures, develop stronger relationships with each other, and cap it off with competitive basketball games. It is a trip that will provide lasting memories and have a tremendous and lasting impact on the lives of our players.”

As Washington enters her second season at Rutgers, this trip serves a great purpose as she continues to rebuild the program. Getting extra practice time and playing several games will be invaluable in regard to the team’s development. The Scarlet Knights began summer workouts earlier this week on Tuesday. It’s an important offseason for the program in preparation for taking another step next season.

Seven of Rutgers’ nine scholarship players from last season’s team are set to return. Second Team All-Big Ten selection Kaylene Smikle is the centerpiece of the core returning. In addition, Chyna Cornwell is back inside for Rutgers after having the best season of her career last season. Guard Awa Sidibe, forward, Kassondra Brown and wing Erica Lafayette return as well. Two promising younger players on the roster are Antonia Bates, who played big minutes as a freshman, and Jillian Huerter, who enrolled early at mid-season and is a knockdown shooter.

This offseason, Rutgers has added former McDonald’s All-American and 5-star recruit Destiny Adams. The forward transferred from North Carolina. In addition, landing former 4-star recruit Mya Petticord from Texas A&M gives next season’s team a true point guard. Pulling from the high school ranks, Rutgers also added 4-star and top 60 recruit Lisa Thompson from the Chicago area.

Washington and her coaching staff have added talent and depth to the roster in just a year since taking the reigns in Piscataway. After an inspiring first season in which Rutgers showed signs of improvement, there is legitimate hope this group can take another step forward during the 2023-2024 campaign. Taking this trip to Europe is a great way to experiment with rotations, evaluate the team’s strengths and weaknesses, all while giving the student-athletes a once in a lifetime experience.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. RUinChiTown

    June 15, 2023 at 5:57 pm

    Huh? Two games? I understand the educational value of overseas visits (first hand: I paid a bunch for our daughters). But it not two han s against international competition? Doesn’t make sense to me(at least.)

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