49ers hoops gain valuable practice time preparing for Summer trip

(Braxton Ogbueze talks about playing summer games in Canada)

CONCORD, NC (WCCB Charlotte) — The Charlotte 49ers basketball team will have a leg up on the competition this season.

At least in time on the basketball court.

Charlotte will play three games against Canadian collegiate teams on Canadian soil next week as part of a summer trip. The competition is expected to be strong, however, second year coach Mark Price says the current ten practice stretch as a team may be more valuable than the exhibition games.

The team’s first game north of the border is August 11.

“It’s a situation where I’m going to be evaluating in a lot of ways,” Price said after the team’s sixth practice of the summer. “It will help us as a coaching staff as we come back and prepare for the fall to have a more clearer vision of what we are working with.”

Normally, the first time Price and his assistants can conduct an official practice is October. With six new faces in the mix for playing time, the timing of being able to take the summer trip couldn’t be more perfect.

“It’s exactly what we need, we are a relatively young team,” Price said. “This is a great thing to get a jump start on the season.”

The players are excited to get back with their teammates–both new and old.

“It’s a first look at us as a team,” senior guard Braxton Ogbueze said. “We get a chance to throw the ball up in the air and play with each other. Get used to each other’s game and build chemistry. This is a very, very pivotal trip.”

Ogbueze complemented the work ethic and mentality of the new players joining the team. Charlotte finished last season with a 14-19 record.