Clemson guard Gabe DeVoe has never traveled outside of the United States, but that’s all about to change for the senior in just a few days.
The Tigers are headed to Spain on August 8 to play four exhibition games.
“I’m super excited,” said DeVoe. “Not only about basketball, but just being able to experience a new culture.”
The overseas trip also gives the Tigers 10 practices to prepare, which is a big help for the Tigers going into the upcoming season.
“It’s a great opportunity,” said Tigers head coach Brad Brownell. “Certainly, we’re enjoying the 10 days of practice. It’s an added benefit. As coaches, I think that’s probably really what we prefer. The games are fine overseas, but really just the opportunity to kind of get some young players into practice setting and put in a few things I think is really good. It gives you a first-hand look at your guys.”
Brownell is happy his players will have a chance to compete, but the trip isn’t just about getting better on the floor.
“As coaching has changed a little bit more, you’re constantly looking for ways to spend more and more quality time with your players. With social media and everything that happens now, players don’t talk as much. They don’t communicate as often. So, it’s a challenge to be able to do that. Obviously, when you take your team on a foreign trip, you can control things. You’re around each other a little bit more and, certainly, I think that’s an added benefit.”
“We actually have a bunch of new faces with four freshman,” DeVoe added. “David Skara sat out last year. So, it’ll be good to just to let a lot of guys bond and also, it gives us a gauge a few month from now being able to look back on film and also these practices. So, I think it’ll put us ahead of the curve a little bit.”
However, the trip not only gives the team a chance to bond. It gives players a chance to become more comfortable with leadership roles on the floor.
“The older guys I think are enjoying being leaders,” said Brownell, “and maybe Dontae Grantham and Gabe DeVoe are two guys that have kind of patiently waited their turn while Jaron (Blossomgame) has been here. Now, they have an opportunity to be a little bit bigger leaders and I think they’re enjoying that. The older guys enjoy kind of knowing what’s going on and watching the young guys struggle with some things and then try to help them.”
The Tigers will return to the U.S. on August 18.
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