August 20, 2010

Hoopin' in the DR...comments from Coach Sutton

August 20, 2010

"Three a.m. (Thursday) and raining at the Hoop as we pull out.  Everything smooth on the first leg of the flight to Miami.  Flight was delayed an hour out of Miami - half of us boarded and the other half was sent to another gate (a long ways away).  G.O. Ministies staff Will and Audrey Partin and Pedro, Karlyn and Patone met us at the airport in Puerta Plata. Guys had dinner and we left early for game 1 which was at 10 a.m.  Roads are interesting to say the least and the trip took about 2 hours to get to the arena.  We won our first contest but some of their best pro guys are playing with another team right now so we won easily. Kids are getting used to the humidity as today's games are in an un-air conditioned gym, but we had great enthusiasm and got to check out the new Golden Eagles.  Matt, Dennis, Javon and Mitch joined Zac and Chase in getting their first 'burn' in a game.  Riley, Newt and BP gave big plays to go along with a total team effort for the W.  
 
We went to Pastor Nikko's mission and helped feed about 75 kids lunch - the only hot meal the kids get in the day and our guys were GREAT. Tech fans would have been more than proud of their Golden Eagles watching them interact with these smiling grateful kids than of any athletic event they could ever play in. The very first thing I told our team at our opening practice was to remind them how truly blessed we all are. Today I was truly blessed to be the coach of the Golden Eagles as I watched them represent Tech and Cookeville so well. Kudos to Coach Payne and the rest of the staff for their efforts. Had lunch at the G.O. Ministries central church facility and the guys are cleaning up and relaxing before the next game at 5 p.m. and then we head back to Viva Wyndham Tagerine where we are staying which is right on the beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
 
Tomorrow's games will be very tough. We play in the main arena in Santiago and two very good teams are on tap. The President of Santiago BB was at our game and Dr. Chickie Liriano came by too. Former player Leo Liriano came by (Chickie is his dad). Milone Clark is playing with a pro team, La Vega and we hope to see him as well on this trip.
 
Gotta run. Kids are having a blast. Not sure when I can get to email again, but I will try."