LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s basketball team may be playing in the beautiful blue waters of the Bahamas next week, but the games of its summer foreign tour will have a “Big Blue” familiarity when the Wildcats take the floor. Drake’s, a Lexington-based restaurant known for its popular beer, burgers and sushi selection, will serve as the title sponsor of the 2022 tour while VisitLEX, the Lexington Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, will serve as the presenting sponsor. The four-game, seven-day tour will be officially known as Drake’s Big Blue Bahamas at Baha Mar presented by VisitLEX with the Wildcats training at the beautiful Baha Mar Resort in Nassau from Aug. 8-14.
“Drake’s is proud to be a part of bringing the Big Blue Nation to the Bahamas,” said operating owners Bruce Drake and Brian McCarty. “If Cat fans can’t make it to Nassau, Drake’s is your game-day headquarters.”
Kentucky will play the Dominican Republic National Select Team on Aug. 10 at 7 p.m. ET, Tec de Monterrey (Mexico) on Aug. 11 at 7 p.m., Carleton University (Canada) on Aug. 13 at 6 p.m. and The Bahamas National Team on Aug. 14 at noon. All four games will be broadcast live on SEC Network.
“We are thrilled to have our friends at Drake’s and VisitLEX partner with the Wildcats for these four games this summer,” said Brooks Downing, president and founder of bdG Sports, the local organizer for the event. “Both entities understand the value of their association with the Wildcats and viewership for this new edition of the Wildcats promises to be extremely popular on the SEC Network.”NCAA rules allow for a foreign tour by an intercollegiate team once every four academic years. Drake’s Big Blue Bahamas at Baha Mar presented by VisitLEX is managed by bdG Sports, a Lexington-based event marketing firm which annually manages more than two dozen games at Baha Mar each November.
This marks the third time the Wildcats have ascended on The Bahamas to serve as a tune-up for the regular season, and both previous times the Cats came away with positive results. UK first traveled to the island prior to the 2014-15 season which ignited a magical 38-0 run that ended with an undefeated regular season, SEC regular-season and tournament titles, and a trip to the Final Four. Kentucky earned a 4-0 mark in The Bahamas in 2018, prior to going 30-7 and reaching the Elite Eight in 2019.
This will be the Cats first trip to Baha Mar, a 2,300-room luxury resort of choice anchored by the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar Hotel, complemented by the ultra-luxe SLS Baha Mar and exclusive Rosewood Baha Mar. The resort features a 100,000 square-foot casino, a new $200 million luxury water park Baha Bay, and Royal Blue, a Jack Nicklaus signature-designed golf course.
For the latest on the Kentucky men’s basketball team, follow @KentuckyMBB on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and on the web at UKathletics.com. Fan also can follow @BahaMarHoops on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to follow the action from the tour.