For the first time, the Duke men’s basketball team will travel to Canada to compete in the Duke Canada Tour. The Blue Devils, who are led by the all-time winningest coach in NCAA history – Mike Krzyzewski, will be debuting their no. 1 ranked freshman class. Duke will face off against Ryerson University and University of Toronto at
Hershey Centre in Toronto, and McGill University at Place Bell in Montreal. The tour will take place August 15-19, with all three games set to be broadcast by ESPN in the United States, and TSN and RDS in Canada.
Esteemed Canadian R.J. Barrett leads Duke’s 2018-19 freshman class, which is regarded as one of the best in college basketball history. The class also includes Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish and Tre Jones, who are ranked nos. 2, 3 and 10 respectively, on the ESPN 100 Class of 2018 behind no. 1 ranked Barrett.
“We are excited about the opportunity to be tested against three quality basketball programs in Canada this summer,” said Krzyzewski. “More than a third of our roster includes players competing for the first time as collegians. The practices and games associated with the tour will allow us to bond as a team, while providing us with a terrific educational opportunity to see another country and two amazing cities – Toronto and Montreal. It should be especially fun for one of our newcomers, R.J. Barrett, who will be home.”
Barrett enters his freshman year at Duke with more high school accolades than any other Canadian in history. Barrett won the Gatorade Player of the Year and Naismith Player of the Year en route to an undefeated season and a national championship at Montverde Academy in Florida. Barrett also led Canada to its first-ever gold medal at an international FIBA competition at the U19 Basketball World Cup in 2017.
This past April, Barrett helped guide the World Selects to a Nike Hoops Summit title in Portland. That team was coached by Ryerson head coach Roy Rana.
“It’s going to be amazing to take part in this tour,” said Barrett. “Not only will I be putting on the Duke jersey for the first time, but I will be doing it in my home country in front of friends and family. It will be a good way to start our year, and bond with each other as teammates.”
The games will be played at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, and Place Bell in Laval, Quebec. The 5,395 seat Hershey Centre is home to the Toronto Raptors’ G League affiliate, Raptors 905. Place Bell is a 10,000 seat multi-purpose venue, which houses the Montreal Canadiens’ AHL affiliate, Laval Rocket (Rocket de Laval).
In planning the trip, Duke worked in collaboration with SBX Group, a leading global sports, entertainment and lifestyle marketing agency with Canadian headquarters in Toronto. The agency will be handling all components of the tour, including marketing, sponsorship, event operations, and ticket sales. In the Montreal market, SBX Group and Duke will be partnering with evenko, a Quebec company presenting more than 1,200 musical, family and sporting events. Together, SBX Group and evenko will work on all tour initiatives.
August 15, 2018, 7 p.m. ET — Game no. 1 vs. Ryerson Rams — Hershey Centre
August 17, 2018, 6 p.m. ET — Game no. 2 vs. Toronto Varsity Blues — Hershey Centre
August 19, 2018, 3 p.m. ET — Game no. 3 vs. McGill Redmen — Place Bell
For tickets, please visit www.DukeCanadaTour.com. Fans can choose from a number of different options. Hospitality packages are also available, including marketing assets, executive boxes and courtside suites.
Tickets for the general public will go on sale in early June. More details to come.
ABOUT DUKE MEN’S BASKETBALL
With five NCAA Championships, 16 Final Four appearances and 20 Atlantic Coast Conference titles, Duke University is home to one of the nation’s most successful men’s college basketball programs. Under the direction of the sport’s winningest all-time coach and Naismith Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski for nearly four decades, the Blue Devils’ dynasty is one that few programs can match. Duke has produced 12 National Players of the Year, 68 All-Americans and more than 70 NBA stars, while Krzyzewski has been National Coach of the Year nine times. In addition to his success at the college level, Coach K has elevated the Duke Basketball brand globally by winning six gold medals as the head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team, including three in the Olympics (2008, 2012 and 2016).
ABOUT DUKE CANADA TOUR
The Duke Canada Tour is a three-game exhibition series between the Duke men’s basketball team and Ryerson University, University of Toronto, and McGill University. The tour will take place in Toronto and Montreal, Canada from August 13-19, 2018. This will be the first time that the Blue Devils historic freshman class, led by Canadian R.J. Barrett, will suit up together.