Cliff Warren’s Jacksonville Dolphins left for Santo Domingo on Sunday, and they will spend six days in the Dominican Republic.
But while the Dolphins will play three games during their time there, the trip isn’t solely about preparing for the 2012-13 season on the court.
It’s also about lending a helping hand to those in need, as the program will also visit villages and orphanages in the Dominican Republic.
According to Jeff Elliott of the Florida Times-Union, the Jacksonville travel party will also bring between ten and twelve boxes of toiletries, clothes, shoes and books in addition to cash donations.
“Hopefully our guys, who have all the gadgets in the world with the I-phones, I-Pads, computers along with nice clothes, designer jeans and more, they’ll have a better appreciation for what they have.
“They’ll get a different perspective on life, on college, on being a student-athlete, on having parents, teammates and people who care about them. They’re going to see how another part of the world lives.”
From a basketball standpoint this is an important trip for the Dolphins, who won just eight games last season.
Leading scorer Aloysius Cabell decided to transfer, and both Tevin Galvin and Delwan Graham exhausted their eligibility, which puts more on the shoulders of guards Keith McDougald (11.2 ppg) and Glenn Powell (10.9 ppg).
Offensively Jacksonville struggled last season, ranking near the bottom of the Atlantic Sun in most of the major statistical categories.
Defensively they weren’t much better, as opponents shot 46.7% from the field (9th in the A-Sun).
This trip, along with the ten practices that preceded it, is a good opportunity for the Dolphins to make some much-needed improvements on both ends of the floor.
“It also helps that we’ll have 10 days of practice before we leave,” said Warren. “This gives us an opportunity to put in some of our offenses and defenses. It gives the new guys a chance to get accustomed to JU basketball and that’s where you rebound hard, defend well and be ready to run, in that order.”
And while doing that they’ll also get the opportunity to help those in need.