Wildcats strengthen bonds on Bahamas trip

University of Arizona Media Relations

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas — The Wildcats’ first full day in the Bahamas opened with a spirited, late-morning practice Friday at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs Gymnasium.

The short trip across the bridge from Paradise Island and into Nassau allowed team members to see parts of the city outside of the popular tourist destinations and was a good precursor to the 90-minute workout.

UA head coach Sean Miller appreciated the chance to work his guys out and continue working towards the start of the 2012-13 season.

“It’s nice to have the team together this time of year,” he said.  “It’s a chance for us to develop stronger relationships in part because we have so many new faces.  Having them together is priceless and continues our team growth as we move closer to the start of our season.”

Isaacs Gymnasium, the national gym of the Bahamas, is named for the former governor general of the island and seats about 2,000 people.  It is located adjacent to the Betty Kelly-Kenning National Swimming Complex and the Thomas Robinson National Stadium.

Following practice, the team grabbed a quick lunch and was on their own to enjoy the sights and activities of the Atlantis resort for the rest of the day.

“We’re on a beautiful island and had the opportunity to get in a good practice,” Miller said.  “They get the rest of the day for themselves and I hope they enjoy it.”

Notes:  It’s worth noting that the weather in the Bahamas has been, well, tropical – mid to upper 80s, breezy, humid … and overcast with hints of rain.  According to the locals spoken to this afternoon, such weather is completely normal this time of year, as it is hurricane season.   Desert dwellers might overlook that small fact.

It’s also easy to take for granted just how meaningful winning any Olympic medal – let along a gold one – can be, but that impact was on display at the Atlantis as the men’s 4×400-meter relay final was televised Friday afternoon.  To watch some of the resort employees glue themselves to the race and then celebrate loudly when their Bahamian team came from behind and found its way to the top of the podium, was as genuine a response as you could imagine.  It was the Bahamas’ first medal of the London Olympics.

Mark Lyons discusses his first trip as a member of the Wildcats.