The last time the Milwaukee Bucks played in Madison, Bo Ryan wasn’t the coach of the Wisconsin Badgers. In 1999—the last time the Bucks played in the capital city—Ryan was in his first year as the head coach of the UW-Milwaukee basketball team, a program he led to back-to-back winning seasons.  

Fast-forward 16 years, and Ryan has led the Badgers to back-to-back Final Fours, and the Bucks are back in Madison.

IMG_0660Milwaukee opened up training camp today at the Nicholas-Johnson Pavilion on UW-Madison’s campus where the Bucks will practice for the next week in preparation for their preseason opener against the Bulls in Chicago on October 6thBucks training camp will likely revolve around two stories—Greg Monroe’s arrival and Jabari Parker’s return.

Monroe, a free agent center signed this offseason, went through his first official practice with the team today. 

“It was a typical first day. It helped a lot…It’s always fun to be back out here, especially for me, a long summer, so just happy to be back on the court getting better with my teammates,” Monroe said of the first practice.

After five seasons in Detroit, Monroe opted to sign with a small-market team—Milwaukee—rather than sign with a large-market team like New York or Los Angeles. Monroe has averaged 14 points and 9 rebounds per game over his career, two areas last season in which the Bucks finished in the bottom half of the NBA.

In addition to Monroe, Jabari Parker practiced officially with the Bucks today for the first time since tearing his ACL last December.

“[Parker] went the whole practice so we’ll see how he does tonight and how he feels tomorrow…it was good to see him out there as a coach [and we were] very pleased to see him out on the floor with the things that he can do,” head coach Jason Kidd said.

Speaking of his first practice in nine months, Parker said, “It felt good…[the goal is] to build consistency, try to get in a rhythm…I’m cherishing my opportunity.”

After this week of practice the Bucks will return to Madison for a preseason game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Kohl Center on October 20th.