Diario In Italia - Rhema Gardner

Aug. 18, 2011

The UCLA women's basketball team left to begin its summer tour of Italy on Thursday morning and will play four exhibition games during its Aug. 18-27 tour.

The Bruins begin their journey in Rome, where they will meet the Dutch National Team on Aug. 20 and 21. The team will then move on to Venice, after a brief stop in Florence. UCLA will face Italian club team Udine on Aug. 24 and then will take on the Nigerian National Team in the Lake Como region on Aug. 25.

Fans can keep up with the team's travel through Italy at uclabruins.com. Player journals, photo galleries and game recaps will be posted throughout the trip. The first player journal is below:

Diario In Italia - Rhema Gardner

Hey, this is Rhema! Today we leave for Italy!!! We had our last practice on Wednesday evening to go over a few last-minute things. It was mostly a mental day in preparation for playing our first games together. After finishing up our packing for the trip, the team had a get together and we stayed up until we all left for the airport early this morning.

We are all beyond excited to be taking this journey to Italy. The majority of us have never been out of the country, so we are not sure what to expect. We are especially looking forward to the food and, of course, the delicious gelato. Another thing we are looking forward to is spending time with each other, especially our freshmen and the new coaching staff. We will all get the chance to know each other a lot better as we travel. This a special day, and I am just truly thankful and blessed to get to be able to take this trip with the people I enjoy the most! Go Bruins!!!

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