JU women’s team set to make Bahamas trip

The Jacksonville University women’s basketball team will take an early August foreign tour to The Bahamas in preparation for the 2016-17 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) season.

The Jacksonville University Dolphins will come to Nassau where they will be competing in exhibition games against a team which includes members of the Bahamian national team. The head coach of the Dolphins is Bahamian Yolett McPhee-McCuin, who previously coached the national team. The games are set for August 8 at 7 p.m. and on August 9 at 4 p.m. Both will be held at the newly renovated Kendall G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium.

“I am extremely excited about my team’s opportunity to travel to my homeland,” exclaimed McCuin. “This foreign trip will most importantly provide educational values through exposure of another culture and customs that one cannot experience in a classroom setting.

“I’d like to thank Dr. [Donnie] Horner and Alex Ricker-Gilbert for their support, as it is my hope that this experience will last a lifetime for our women.

“Along with giving my team exposure, I felt this would be a good opportunity to give the local kids something to work and aspire to. They get to see what it takes to be a college athlete, from how they play to their structure. We hope that as many people can make it to the gym as possible.”

In an effort to further reach out to the community, the team, with help from the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC), will also host a youth clinic from 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Tuesday at the Kendall Isaacs gym. Admission is free for both events.

Beyond the lines of the basketball court, Jacksonville will also be participating in several community service events.

“We’re going to be at the Children’s Emergency Hostel in Nassau,” said McCuin. “I just want to be able to inspire the youth of The Bahamas and I thought it would be a big deal for us to come down, show our talents and provide some service while we are down there.”

A number of entities have come on board as sponsors of the event including the Ministry of Tourism, Bahamas Air, The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and BTC. The NCAA allows teams to take a foreign trip once every four years. Teams taking a foreign trip are allowed 10 full team practices during the summer. This will be the team’s first trip outside of the United States.