Commitments, time management, scheduling, creative thinking, and cultural and educational travel are all part of being a Cooper Union scholar athlete. Over time, it became clear we needed to invest in our athletes’ personal and athletic development, so we made a long-term investment in travel and training for future opponents. In 1997, the Cooper Union basketball team established a relationship with the California Institute of Technology. Until 2005, each November, the basketball team played an annual game against CalTech. In 2005, the men’s team pursued games in St. Thomas and St. Martin. For the last three years, the women’s team has trained in Delray Beach, Florida. This upcoming year, on Tuesday, October 28, both the men’s and women’s teams will travel to Florida. Both teams are in a transitional period and will need the Florida trip to forge their unique identities. Ordinarily, the teams fly to Florida on a Tuesday night, heavy backpacks full of textbooks included, and fly back the following Sunday night. In the mean time, the teams reside in a dozen beach-front, Breakers hotel apartments, reserved so players may study and relax.
Throughout the five-day Florida trip, players work day and night to refine skills, learn plays, and reestablish court chemistry. Practice typically occurs twice daily, with visiting professor Kevin McBain leading a group of expert coaches. Kevin is a member of the New Jersey Basketball Hall of Fame and played at La Salle University. In addition to these focused practice sessions, the team inspires future scholar athletes through clinics for Boynton Beach STEM elementary school students. The students who participate in these clinics receive basketballs and shirts designed by Cooper Union players, all donated by famous and distinguished alumni. This trip exemplifies the generous spirit of each Cooper Union scholar athlete, offering numerous opportunities to give back to the community, as well as be the beneficiary of skilled coaching and leadership.