The University of Victoria men’s basketball team is headed north for a timely team retreat ahead of next week’s annual Guy Vetrie Memorial Tournament. Head coach Craig Beaucamp and his squad will be staying local to camp out at Parkland Secondary School in North Saanich, B.C. from Sept. 21-22.

Outside of several training session, the camp highlight will be an intra-squad game at 7:00 p.m. on the Saturday night, Sept. 22. The game is open to the public and is an opportunity for community to get their first look at the Vikes squad.

“It’s a chance for fans to get an early glimpse as to what our team is going to be about,” said head coach Craig Beaucamp, who adds new recruits from both India and Brazil. “Many of them have been to CARSA and been to a formal game event. The intra-squad game is a bit more informal and gives the fans a chance to get closer to the team.”

This is the ninth retreat of this kind for the Vikes men’s basketball team, including several years spent in Comox at Mark Isfeld Secondary. The purpose of the trip is to provide an opportunity for the team to come together, bond and prepare for their first exhibition games coming up next week, Sept. 27-29, at the Guy Vetrie tournament, held in CARSA. Ryerson, Saskatchewan and Manitoba will all be in town for those match ups.

“The goal of the trip is to continue the process of building a team,” added Beaucamp, a five-time Canada West Coach of the Year who enters his 16th season with the Vikes. It is important to build a team both on and off the court. It is about 15-16 individuals getting to know each other and working together because building those types relationships within a team are almost as important as the on-court product.”

Following the Guy Vetrie tournament, the Vikes will have one more month to prepare for their Canada West season opener against the Winnipeg Wesmen in Manitoba on Oct. 26-27.

The Vikes’ home opener will be a single header against the UBC Thunderbirds on Nov. 1. This game will hold value in both the Canada West standings and the newly formed Legends Cup series.