Within the laboratory: it is virtually there
Posted by Justin Trujillo | February 7, 2021
That’s the focus here in Orlando. Ann Arbor is only four days away from a season opener on ESPNU against the Westchester Knicks on Thursday, February 11th at 3:30 p.m. ET. We had time on the square and in the film room. The coaching team had group and individual discussions with the players. We’re ready for NBA G League basketball.
It’s been a week since the team left quarantine and I wanted to share some stories and observations about what life was like here at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.
Right out of quarantine, we were hit by a cold front when the temperature fluctuated in the 1940s. As a result, you didn’t see anyone really taking advantage of the activities on campus (corn hole, table tennis, fishing, etc.). Our team hotel is one of three hotels that border a lake. In the convention center, which is connected to our resort, there are practice areas, a dining room, a players lounge, a health clinic, a dispatch warehouse, team rooms and much more.
It is a small journey from our rooms, about a 10-15 minute walk to the team room and longer to the dining room. In that regard, it reminds me of a college campus with the amount of walks we take every day and the multiple daily trips back and forth. It doesn’t feel crowded at all with the other 17 teams and league staff. When teams are practicing and holding team meetings, the number of people makes it easy to always be socially aloof.
The advantage of our room location is that we are very close to the pick-up and drop-off point for the bus. The games will be played in two locations, the AdventHealth Arena and the HP Field House, all in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. We had a training session at the training camp at HP Field House, but Thursday is our first time on the field in the AdventHealth Arena.
It’s a small world
Here in Orlando there are a number of connections between Swarm players and players on other teams. This week I learned more about the background of the two-way gamer Nate Darling.
Darling comes from Nova Scotia, an eastern province of Canada. When he makes his Hornets debut, he will be the first Nova Scotian-born player to play in a regular season NBA game. He does face some competition, however, as Lindell Wigginton, another hopeful Nova Scotian NBA, is in Orlando. Ann Arbor will play Wigginton’s team, the Iowa Wolves, on February 18 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Darling and Wigginton’s relationship goes back to when they both played for Team Canada at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup in Cairo, Egypt. On the way to Canada’s first gold medal in a FIBA-approved tournament, Darling contributed to victories over Japan (Rui Hachimura), France (Adam Mokoka, Killian Tillie) and the United States (PJ Washington, Immanuel Quickley, Carsen Edwards, Cam Reddish , Josh Okogie). Kevin Huerter, Hamidou Diallo). Impressive talent for the emerging Team Canada program, which at the time was under the direction of Hornet’s assistant coach Jay Triano.
Mark your calendar for the game on Thursday, but don’t forget that the crush also plays on Friday and Sunday! The full schedule is here.
Until next time!