Cougar Josh Hawkinson to represent Pac-12 Down Under, could play against Baynes and Motum

WASHINGTON STATE's Josh Hawkinson will travel to Melbourne, Australia for a series of cultural experiences and exhibition games against the Australia Men’s Basketball Team in July as part of a Pac-12 All-Star Men’s Basketball Team, the league announced. Hawkinson could compete along the way against a pair of former Cougars: Aron Baynes and Brock Motum.

Hawkinson will be among the dozen Pac-12 student-athletes from 10 member schools to participate in July two games against the Australia Men's National Team - known as the Australian Boomers - in its preparation for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, as well as a third contest against a team from the semi-professional South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL).

Among the 17 finalists for the Australian Men’s National Team Olympic roster are Cougars Baynes (2006-09) and Motum (2010-13).  Currently a member of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, Baynes competed with Australia in the 2012 Olympics.

The trip comes as part of the Pac-12 Global initiative.

“This tour of Australia marks an important step forward in the Pac-12’s mission to use the power of sport to advance our schools’ reach around the world, and to give our student-athletes opportunities to learn about a new culture while playing a sport they love” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott.

Washington State strength coach Scott Thom will serve as the group's strength coach.

“Traveling to Australia with the Pac-12 team will not only be great for Josh and Scott, but for the entire Cougar basketball program,” Ernie Kent said. “When DaVonté Lacy went to China with the Pac-12 team prior to his senior season, it did a lot for his game, his confidence, and his reputation amongst coaches and fellow student-athletes in the league, and I’m excited to see the same for Josh.”

Joining 2016 honorable mention All-Pac-12 performer Hawkinson are Jordan McLaughlin of USC, Wesley Gordon of Colorado, Kadeem Allen and Chance Comanche of Arizona, Tra Holder of Arizona State, Stephen Domingo of California, Drew Eubanks and Stephen Thompson, Jr. of Oregon State, Dorian Pickens of Stanford, Lorenzo Bonam of Utah and Matisse Thybulle of Washington.

The team will participate in a three-day training camp in Los Angeles from July 5-7 before the group embarks on the tour from July 9-14. Game dates are slated for Sunday, July 10 (vs. SEABL team), Tuesday, July 12 (vs. Australia MNT), and Thursday, July 14 (vs. Australia MNT). The group will then return to the U.S. on July 15.

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