NOTRE DAME, Ind. (AP) -The Notre Dame basketball team will travel to Ireland in August to face teams from Ireland and Poland in the inaugural Emerald Hoops Program.
``The Fighting Irish in Ireland is just natural,'' coach Mike Brey said Wednesday. ``This is going to be a truly unique experience for our coaching staff, administration, fans, and especially, our players.''
The program, initially a five-year venture, has been established to help build relationships between the basketball communities in America and Ireland.
Notre Dame will be in Ireland from Aug. 13-25. Besides playing games, the coaching staff and team are expected to participate in a series of coaching clinics throughout the country.
``What better way to launch our exciting venture for Irish sports than by having the Fighting Irish to Ireland,'' said Karl Donnelly, marketing director for Basketball Ireland.
It won't be the first time a team from Notre Dame has traveled to Ireland. In 1996, a crowd of 38,651 in Dublin watched the Notre Dame football team beat Navy 54-27. The football team is scheduled to play Navy again in Dublin in 2012.

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