Courtesy of Bethune Cookman Athletics
ORLANDO, Fla. – Being at the Orlando Magic’s practice facility gave Bethune-Cookman Head Coach Reggie Theusmore than a sense of coming full circle.
Taking his Wildcats for a practice in a facility adjacent to the National Basketball team’s main floor in the Amway Center was a show of how things have progressed for him and the league since he played for Orlando in the team’s 1988-89 expansion season. Theus and that team practiced in a recreational center blocks away from the also now demolished Amway Arena.
“It was really fantastic to see the growth of the league in itself,” Theus said. “I was fortunate enough to see the Sacramento Kings build their first practice facility with two courts and it was one of the state-of-the-art at that time.
“The Magic facility by far is probably the best in the league,” Theus added. “They’ve done a tremendous job of creating the atmosphere. You don’t ever have to leave the building.”
That atmosphere was something he wanted his players to have experienced.
“I wanted our guys to see and experience it,” Theus said. “You want to give them something to keep their hopes and dream alive and remind them that this [the league] is what we’re looking for and where we want to be someday.”
With Hurricane Ian closing the campus and leaving the Wildcats displaced, the team also held practices at Embry-Riddle and Midtown Cultural & Educational Center.
Theus and the Wildcats are preparing for their second season in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, which opens November 7 at Iowa.