UNO Men’s Basketball prepares for foreign tour to Costa Rica

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Simeon Kirkland and Tyson Jackson
(Photo: Erik Williams/Southland Conference)

New Orleans Men’s Basketball prepares for foreign tour to Costa Rica

NEW ORLEANS  The University of New Orleans men’s basketball team will travel to Costa Rica for an 8-day trip, primarily funded by privately raised dollars. The trip will feature a true balance of educational, cultural, and service experiences in addition to three games of competition for each student-athlete. The team will leave New Orleans Aug. 6 and return Aug. 13.

“This is truly a once in a lifetime chance for our student-athletes that is about more than just basketball,” said Head Coach Mark Slessinger.

“The immersive experience includes: service projects, a Special Olympics clinic similar to those we host here in New Orleans, multiple educational opportunities, and other various activities.  The team is so excited to learn about Costa Rica and its culture. ”

“I am extremely excited for our men’s basketball team to participate in our version of a study-abroad program,” said Tim Duncan, vice president of Athletics & Recreation.

“I want to thank the financial supporters, donors, of the men’s basketball program for stepping up to provide this experiential learning opportunity via international travel. In our #NOLAsTeam 2025 Strategic Plan Goal 2, we prioritized providing dynamic student-athlete experiences. My hope is to provide these types of experiences to each of our student-athletes!”

The 18-man squad will complete a service project on day two in San Ramon, where the University of New Orleans has had a long-standing study abroad relationship from 1992 – 2017​, serving over almost 700 students.

In preparation for its competition in Costa Rica, the NCAA has permitted New Orleans to conduct 10 full-length practices throughout the summer. The team’s final practice takes place on Thursday, Aug. 4​, before boarding their flight on Saturday.

The Privateers have revamped this offseason, adding four true freshmen to the unit in Omarion Henry, Massimo Giorgetti, Preston Murphy, Jr., and Cole Sinclair. In addition, New Orleans boosted its roster through the transfer portal, bringing in Jordan Johnson, Marquez Cooper, Spencer Simes, Khaleb Wilson-Rouse, Juan Cajelli and Dillon Delatte. These ​10 newcomers join eight returners, including Daniel Sackey, Simeon Kirkland, Tyson Jackson, K’mani Doughty, D’ante Bell, Jamond Vincent, Darrius Washington, and Dorian Hill.

In support of the trip, New Orleans athletics will host its “Tip-off to Costa Rica” open practice ​on Thursday, Aug 4., in the Lakefront Arena allowing fans the opportunity to view the final day of practice and fellowship with the men’s basketball coaching staff before their departure.

Funds paid for this trip were privately raised, but the continued support of New Orleans’ student-athletes is always appreciated. Please consider donating to the Privateer men’s basketball program here.

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