August 6, 2016
Our final day in the Bahamas is quickly coming to a close as 5:30 a.m. Sunday will be here sooner than any of us wants it to.
Today was an incredible team bonding experience as we all went on a sailboat excursion to Rose Island. Captain Randy and his crew were extremely friendly and professional towards us. I would highly recommend them to any large group traveling to the Bahamas (I would also recommend sunscreen … and then more sunscreen). When we got to the island, the majority of the boat snorkeled around the coral or just lounged around on floaties in the water.
As I reflect on our trip as a whole, two things I experienced here will shape my life going forward. First of all, it was really good for us players to see how our coaches (AD and support staff included) interact with their families. Sure we see these men on a daily basis, but to see them in different capacities like husband, fiancé, and father is not something we are completely used to. Our coaching staff already goes over and beyond in shaping us as men for life after college, and this trip only emphasizes that. Some practical examples I saw today when I just stepped back into the background and observed were: Coach Gipson riding in the little motor boat to shore with Robin so that he wouldn’t be alone while everyone else swam to shore. Coach Lusk sitting on the boat with his kids answering all of their questions about the world around them. Mr. Moats kept up snorkeling with his daughter the entire afternoon. And Brice Cox encouraging (more like questioned his manhood but that’s still okay) Ronnie to dive off of the boat and conquer his fears.
The other experience I had today was just how extremely blessed we are. I mentioned this at the time but we were really sitting on a sailboat in the Bahamas, eating ribs for lunch, on a paid vacation with our entire team. Things like this are not common, and we should not take lightly. A huge thanks goes out to everyone who made this possible. Really you have no idea how incredible this was.
Beyond the 10 practices and three games, we were able to have this summer from a basketball standpoint, this trip accelerated our team’s cohesiveness. Usually it takes new guys a little bit of an adjustment period when they first get to this level both on the court and socially. When usually you don’t really find out what your teammates are like until about November or December. It’s August 6, and our three junior college transfers feel like old buddies of mine already. Just what an awesome experience.
I can’t wait to show BearNation our team for my senior year when we get back. We have a really special group this year. This more than likely ends my career as a blogger, but thank you Rick Kindhart for giving me this opportunity. See y’all in the fall! Go Bears!