Sunshine, Sunglasses and a Little Rain in Cancun

Nov. 22, 2010

Caribbean Challenge Day 1 Photo Gallery

CANCUN, Mexico — Members of the University of Iowa women’s basketball team made a trade they were pretty happy with Monday. Shedding long sleeve coats for sunglasses.

The Hawkeyes arrived in Cancun Monday around 1 p.m. in preparation for the 2010 Caribbean Challenge. Monday’s arrival at the Cancun airport capped a long travel day filled with anticipation and excitement.

The travel party was split into two groups as the players, along with some of the coaches and support staff bused to Moline, Ill., Sunday night after Iowa’s win over Central Michigan to catch a 6 a.m. flight Monday morning out of the Quad City airport. The players had a 4 a.m. wake-up call Monday morning, along with a two-hour layover for a connection in Atlanta. The other travel party flew out of Cedar Rapids, connected in Chicago and arrived in Cancun about 30 minutes after the players.

The team was greeted with temperatures in the 80’s and sunny skies, but the weather quickly changed upon arriving at the resort around 3 p.m. Most of the team was out exploring the resort when dark skies and heavy rains hit the Aventura Spa and Cove Palace, which is located about 90 minutes south of Cancun in Mexico’s Riviera Maya.

While the weather and scenery is a bonus, the team knows they are here to win basketball games.

“It’s fun to be here and see the ocean and palm trees,” senior Kachine Alexander said. “But we are here to win another tournament championship. We have won two already this year and we are going for number three this week.”

The Hawkeyes will get back on the court Tuesday after taking Monday off. The team will hold a practice at noon, along with a film session, to prepare for Thursday’s game against James Madison.

“This trip is going to be a lot of fun,” Alexander said. “I can’t wait to try some of the food they have here. Even though the experience is a blast, basketball is why we are down here. We are 100 percent focused on Thursday’s game.”