JERSEY CITY, N. J. – Thanksgiving, for some people, is being with family and eating way too much food. For the 2014-15 Tennessee State University men’s basketball team it has been spending time with teammates in the Big Apple.
The Tigers are in New Jersey for the tail end of the Barclay’s Tournament to play the hosts, Saint Peters, on Friday and then either Norfolk State or Saint Francis on Saturday. Knowing that their team is away from their families this Thanksgiving, and that they are staying right across the river from one of the landmark cities of the world, the coaches are going out of their way to make sure the team is having a good time.
It’s worked well through the first two days here.
On Wednesday the team was given an off day after playing No. 8 Virginia the night before. After they checked into the hotel here in Jersey City, the team got together and boarded a subway bound for the 9/11 Memorial Museum. For some, it was the first time they had ever rode on the “metro rail.”
Players and coaches, alike, were moved by the Memorial. So many items, pictures, and videos are at the museum to make sure that America never forgets the events of that day. Parts of the building that remained somewhat intact, or in the case of the “Survivor’s Staircase” fully intact, were displays throughout the memorial.
The team then returned to the hotel, via the subway, and readied for practice and Thanksgiving.
TSU had practice on Thanksgiving afternoon in preparation for tomorrow’s matchup with Saint Peters. Coaches were pleased with the effort and work put in during the practice. After practice, the team boarded the bus and returned briefly to the hotel to get ready for dinner.
The Tigers had Thanksgiving dinner at a terrific establishment in the heart of Harlem called Sylvia’s Restaurant. So much turkey and stuffing got passed around the table that even Chima Azuonwu was saying “No more for me, I’m full.”
A couple of players and coaches then ventured down a few blocks to visit the Apollo. Although it was closed, they enjoyed the scenery around it and snapped photos of the walk that had the various names of superstars who had performed at the theater.
As they look toward tomorrow night’s game, the Tigers have a lot to be thankful for. This trip has been a great experience for not only the players, but the coaches and staff who made the trip, as well.