When Washington announced last month it would travel to New York to play at the Jimmy V Classic against Marquette and Duke in showdowns at Madison Square Garden, the school noted that the lengthy trip in December would also afford players a unique opportunity to perform classwork.
The plan is to have players take independent study courses in drama and attend seminars about Broadway plays before the trip. Then while in New York, they'll be taking in at least one Broadway show and writing papers on their experiences. A Washington professor is even expecting to attend the plays with the team.
According to the team website, the opportunity to perform credit work during an in-season domestic road trip is a rare one. [Washington requires athletes to do course work during international trips.]
Plans are for each player to earn two credits for the work.
"Domestically, I'm not aware of any other teams doing this. It's pretty unique. I don't know of anyone else that is doing this kind of independent-study course in conjunction with an in-season road trip," said Kim Durand, UW's associate athletic director for student development. "When I've talked with colleagues at other schools about it, they think it's great."
"For those guys getting a chance to see plays on Broadway is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Durand said. "Most of our student athletes are from the West Coast."
The Huskies' six-day trip to New York is a long one since they'll actually be hitting the road early to play at Nevada before the Marquette game. So maybe a Broadway show or two will allow them to unwind before facing Duke.
The road trip will definitely be an early-season chance for a new-look Washington team to establish itself on the court and with viewers tuning in to see a big-time event. In visiting Broadway, the players will also be learning about something they might never have taken the time otherwise to see for themselves.