- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 6, 2017

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The women’s national basketball champions are headed to Japan.

South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said Tuesday her team is heading overseas later this month on a trip that includes three exhibition games against the Japan national team. Staley says she had been searching for a trip like this for a while so she could get her younger, untested players some game experience.

The Gamecocks will enter next season without three starters who helped them win the title: Alaina Coates, Kaela Davis and Allisha Gray.

South Carolina’s trip begins June 27 and the three games will take place on June 30, July 2 and July 4.

Staley is coach of the United States national team, which will try for a seventh consecutive gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

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