That's the focus here in Orlando. Greensboro is just four days away from tipping off the season on ESPNU against the Westchester Knicks on Thursday, February 11, at 3:30 p.m. ET. We've had time on the court and in the film room. The coaching staff has held group and individual meetings with the players. We are 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 on what life has been like here at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort.
Right out of quarantine we were hit with a cold front as the temperature hovered in the 40's. As a result, you did not see anyone really taking advantage of the activities littered around campus (corn hole, ping pong, fishing, etc.). Our team hotel is one of three properties that border a lake. There are practice courts, meal room, player lounge, health clinic, shipping warehouse, team rooms and much more are in the convention center which is connected to our resort.
It is a small journey to get there from our rooms, roughly a 10-15 minute walk to the team room and longer to the meal room. In that regard, it does remind me of a college campus with the amount of walking we do each day, making several daily trips back and forth. It does not feel crowded at all with the other 17 teams and league staff around. With teams practicing and having team meetings, the number of people around makes it easy to always be socially distance.
The benefit of our room location is that we are very close to the bus pick-up and drop-off location. Games will be played in two locations, AdventHealth Arena and the HP Field House all at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. We had one practice in training camp at the HP Field House but Thursday will be our first time on the court inside AdventHealth Arena.
It's Small World
There are a number of connections between Swarm players and players on other teams here in Orlando. This week, I learned more on the background of two-way player Nate Darling.
Darling is from Nova Scotia which is an eastern province of Canada. When he makes his debut with the Hornets, he will become the first Nova Scotian born player to play in an NBA regular-season game. However, he has some competition as another Nova Scotian NBA hopeful is in Orlando, Lindell Wigginton. Greensboro plays Wigginton's team, the Iowa Wolves, on February 18 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The relationship between Darling and Wigginton goes back as both played for Team Canada in the 2017 FIBA Under-19 World Cup in Cairo, Egypt. En route to Canada's first gold medal in a FIBA sanctioned tournament, Darling contributed to victories over Japan (Rui Hachimura), France (Adam Mokoka, Killian Tillie) and USA (PJ Washington, Immanuel Quickley, Carsen Edwards, Cam Reddish, Josh Okogie, Kevin Huerter, Hamidou Diallo). Impressive talent for the upstart Team Canada program, which at the time, was under the tutelage of Hornets assistant coach Jay Triano.
Mark your calendar for the game on Thursday but do not forget that the Swarm also play on Friday and Sunday too! Full schedule is here.
Until next time!