UNC to Play In Bahamas Exhibition

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Inside Carolina has learned that the North Carolina basketball program will start the season off earlier than usual in 2010-11. The Tar Heels will participate in an exhibition event in the Bahamas on Aug. 11-12.

The Bahamas Basketball Federation is sponsoring the exhibition, which will pit North Carolina against a pair of local all-star club teams. The games will be played on Aug. 11-12 at 7 p.m. at the Kendall G.L. Isaacs Gym in Nassau, according to Federation secretary Sean Bastian. The Tar Heels will use Aug. 10 as a practice opportunity on the island.

"For all intents and purposes, it looks like they're going to play on the 11th and 12th in the Bahamas and come back on the 13th," UNC senior associate athletic director Larry Gallo said on Wednesday afternoon. "It was just basically solidified within the last four or five days."

NCAA rules permit college programs to make an international trip every four years, complete with 10 practices to be held before the trip. North Carolina also played exhibition games in Nassau during Tyler Hansbrough's freshman season in Sept. '05.

Recent NCAA legislation makes it possible for newcomers to participate in the preseason foreign trips, provided those players meet NCAA Initial Eligibility Requirements and summer coursework requirements.

With four newcomers to the 2010-11 roster – transfer Justin Knox and freshmen Harrison Barnes, Kendall Marshall and Reggie Bullock – this Caribbean trip will afford the Tar Heels extra time to build chemistry before preseason practice begins in October.

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