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Basketball in the Bahamas: Friday

Basketball in the Bahamas: Friday

Sept. 1, 2007

The Tiger basketball team headed out from Littlejohn Coliseum on Friday shortly after 1:00 PM for its exhibition trip to the Bahamas. NCAA rules allow teams to take international trips every four years. Head Coach Oliver Purnell decided to make the trip over Labor Day weekend so that his group of freshmen would be able to practice and play with their new teammates. In fact, the entire 15-man roster made the trip.

The coaches, players, and support staff bussed to Atlanta, GA where the team was scheduled to depart on an American Airlines flight at 5:25 PM. However, the plane was initially delayed in arriving to Atlanta. The team finally boarded around 6:15 PM, but did not get into the air until shortly before 7:00 due to a thunderstorm at the airport.

After a very short layover in Miami, the team was finally headed to Nassau to reach its destination. The Tigers landed in the Bahamas at 10:05 PM, then made their way over to Paradise Island and Atlantis Resort. The team met its representative from Basketball Travelers, the group responsible for setting up this type of trip. Everyone settled into their rooms just prior to midnight.

Coach Purnell laid out the team’s goals prior to exiting the bus at the resort. “We’re here to accomplish two things. The first is to take these games (exhibitions) seriously and come together as a team. We want to work together as a unit and better ourselves. The second thing is to enjoy ourselves. We want this to be a fun experience.”

Clemson returns 11 letterwinners from the 2006-07 squad that tied a school record with 25 wins. Four starters return as well as part-time starter K.C. Rivers. Four players return that averaged double figures last season. Four newcomers are on board for 2007-08, including Mr. Basketball from the state of North Carolina, Demontez Stitt.

Fans are encouraged to check the website on Saturday to find out what activities the team took part in and see photos from the first day. ClemsonTigers.com will also be your source for Saturday and Sunday’s game recaps. The Tigers take to the court at 8:00 PM both nights.

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