The University of New Mexico men’s basketball team made it to Australia for their 11-day exhibition tour, but one Lobo will not be playing in any of its three games.
Freshman Cullen Neal, son of coach Craig Neal, was admitted Sunday (Monday in Australia) to a Sydney hospital where he underwent surgery for an emergency appendectomy, according to sports information director Frank Mercogliano.
The Lobos, whose trip has included a few practices, attending a rugby match, a boat ride and sightseeing in Sydney, play their first game in Sydney on Tuesday against the Sydney Kings, a professional team.
UNM plays two professional all-star teams again Thursday in Melbourne and Sunday in Brisbane. It is unclear if Cullen Neal, the Eldorado graduate who played in last week’s North/South All-Star game, will be able to accompany the team to those games.
Although UNM only paid for a 23-person ravel party of players and team personnel, Janet Neal, Cullen’s mother, and his brother Dalton, each accompanied the team on the trip and paid their own way.