During my years at Saint Joseph’s, I have always prided myself on our preparation on and off the court. Keeping everyone and everything going in the same direction has allowed our players to concentrate on daily improvement, competing at the highest level and hopefully enjoying the experience that is Hawk basketball.
Our trip to the EA Sports Maui Invitational was the program’s most daunting undertaking in my time on Hawk Hill.
Start with the top-notch competition like Texas, North Carolina, and Notre Dame. Factor in the time changes, the academic responsibilities despite missed class time, how, what and when to eat, where to practice and you begin to get a feel for the amount of logisitics. Then you understand why the trip was years in planning.
It is an honor for my program to represent Philadelphia, the Atlantic 10 and the non-BCS schools that rarely get such an invitation.
The Maui Invitational has the feel of an NCAA Regional. Fans representing each school invade the lobbies, restaurants and shops. Tables full of tournament wear are operating day and night. The top referees in the country are flown in to take care of business. ESPN expertly covers every practice and game. What an invaluable experience! This has to pay dividends as the calendar turns to December.
Much credit should go to Rob Sullivan, our director of basketball operations, who allowed the coaches to concentrate on basketball. Sully did it all with a kind word for all and an unmatched energy.
Hopefully all the readers of this blog get a chance to spend quality time with their families during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Talk with you soon.