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Men’s basketball trades snow for sun

 

 

While most people on the East Coast were trying to stay warm the week after Christmas, the men’s basketball team had the opportunity to not only travel down south to warmer weather, but to also play against competitive teams.

The team visited Orlando, Fla. from Dec. 27 to Jan. 1. 

 

The Eagles competed in two contests at the Land of Magic Classic in Florida. Even though Eastern came out with two losses, it was a learning experience.

 

“Before our trip, our team was very close and we all got along, but I think after an experience in Florida where we traveled together it brought us even closer,” junior guard Derek Wright said. “It is similar to taking a trip with your family.”

 

The Eagles are now ready for the cold winter months that will hopefully lead to a MAC championship.

 

“The focus for the rest of the season is to gain each game,” senior guard Chris Myers said. “We feel we are coming together. We had a good time and are ready to make a run for a MAC championship.”

 

Down in Florida, the team attended an NBA game, which included going on the floor for a shoot-around.

 

“We were all able to gel as a team on and off the court and really refocus ourselves for the second semester,” Myers said.

 

Head Coach Matt Nadelhoffer knew this trip would benefit his troops, who are now in the midst of a MAC playoff run. 

 

“We learned a lot about our program and guys started to step into their new roles–it was a very positive trip,” Nadelhoffer said. “We wanted to give the players an opportunity to see a different part of the country to come closer together.”

 

While the main purpose of the trip was to compete, the players had opportunities to do more than just play the game.

 

“We were able to spend valuable time away from basketball to just hang out and enjoy each other, and I think that chemistry has translated to wins on the floor,” Myers said.

 

“This next semester our team will look a little different,” he said. “We used the experience to grow as a team and to formulate a new identity that seems to be going extremely well.”

 

Now, with the experience behind them, the team has one goal.

 

“We know what is at task in order for us to win,” Wright said. “As a program, we have improved because we all are dedicated to winning. We are willing to do whatever it takes.”

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