Bucs Preparing for Trip to Dominican RepublicJuly 26, 2012
by CSU Sports Information
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Southern Men’s Basketball Team will embark on a five-day trip to the Dominican Republic from August 4-9. CSU Head Coach Barclay Radebaugh, staff, and players will compete against three of the country’s top professional clubs, while also making an impact on the Dominican people through mission work in local churches, villages, and orphanages.
In accordance with NCAA rules allowing a foreign tour once every four years, CSU last traveled abroad in the summer of 2008, to Krakow, Poland. This time around, the Bucs will head to Santo Domingo for contests against teams from La Fe, San Carolos, and San Pedro.
“We’re really excited to represent the overall mission of Charleston Southern University,” Radebaugh said. “We’re looking forward to serving the people of the Dominican Republic through basketball clinics, and also working with an orphanage and spending time with young people in different villages. We are looking forward to the opportunity to not only bless them, but to see how it will bless our team to experience a different culture. When we went to Poland four years ago, God used our team to make a significant impact on the city of Krakow. But even more than that, the blessings that we received from stepping out of our comfort zone, experiencing a different culture, and sharing with them the love of Jesus, was a life-changing experience.”
Prior to departing for the Dominican Republic, CSU will hold a week of practices which are open to the media. The Bucs are scheduled to practice at 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 29 and beginning at 6:30 from Monday, July 30 through Thursday, August 2.
Upon arriving in the Dominican, CSU coaches and players will have the chance to undertake daily devotions, attend a local church service, visit the La Romana Orphanage, and play with children and distribute food in Sugarcane Village.
The trip also offers CSU its first chance to take the floor for game action since completing a 2011-2012 campaign that included many highlights as the program achieved its first winning season since 1996-1997. Led by senior forward Kelvin Martin (Adel, Ga.) and a group of newcomers spearheaded by All-Big South Freshman guards Saah Nimley (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and Arlon Harper (College Park, Ga.), the Bucs went 19-12 and reached the Big South Tournament Semifinals following a third-place regular season finish which featured a road win over previously undefeated and eventual league champion UNC Asheville. By challenging themselves in the Dominican, CSU will get its first look at life after Martin while also getting a glimpse of junior college transfer, Allie Fullah, and freshman, Malcolm Bernard (Middleburg, Florida).
“We’re really excited about our team next year,” said Radebaugh of a club which returns four starters and seven letterwinners from last season. “We are really thankful for the ten days of practice (allowed by the NCAA). We had five days of practice in June and our team came back in great shape. You could see the skill development, their individual improvement, the hard work of our players and assistant coaches through the spring. We worked mainly offensively in June and at the end of July and the first week of August we’re really going to focus on defense and rebounding. The loss of Kelvin Martin will be significant from a leadership standpoint, defensive standpoint and a rebounding standpoint, and we’re really going to have to work to improve in those three areas without him.”
SCORE International – a sports missions ministry founded by former Tennessee Temple University Head Coach Ron Bishop in 1985 – set up the trip for the Bucs and aligned a challenging slate of games on the hardwood. CSU will first meet La Fe on Sunday, August 5, before squaring off against clubs from Santo Domingo and San Pedro on Monday, August 6, and Wednesday, August, 8, respectively. Each team features several American players who starred at Division I universities, as well as experienced professionals hailing from overseas.
“We asked the sponsors of the trip to play us against the elite teams of the Dominican,” Radebaugh said. “They asked us what level of teams we wanted to play and I asked them to bring their very best teams. We wanted to play against the very best teams that they had to offer. We’re looking forward to the practice, but also some very stiff competition in the Dominican. The trip can only be a positive from a basketball standpoint because of the extra practice and the extra competition. It’s going to really be beneficial to us to get used to playing without Kelvin.”
“We’re excited about our team. For the first time since I’ve been here, we’re very, very experienced. We’re a veteran team and I have very high expectations, and this trip will be a real positive in every aspect – from a team bonding standpoint, from a basketball standpoint, from a personal and spiritual growth standpoint. We’re really excited.”
Here is a look at some of the highlights on CSU’s itinerary.
Sunday, July 29-Thursday August 2
• Practice at Buccaneer Fieldhouse
o Sunday, July 29 – 5 p.m.
o Monday, July 30-Thursday, August 2 – 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 4
• Arrive in Dominican Republic
Sunday, August 5
• Attend Dominican Church Service – 9-11 a.m.
• Game vs. La Fe Team – 4 p.m.
Monday, August 6
• Visit and play with children at La Romana Orphanage – 9-11 a.m.
• Game vs. San Carlos Team – 6 p.m.
Wednesday, August 8
• Play with children and distribute food in Sugarcane Village – 9-11 a.m.
• Game vs. San Pedro Team – 6 p.m.
Thursday, August 9
• Arrive back in Charleston
Any media members wishing to speak to Coach Radebaugh and/or players at practices should contact Zeke Beam at 843-863-7687 or firstname.lastname@example.org.