Gators get history lesson on trip to New York
As the Gators prepared to leave earlier this week for Tuesday night's game against Memphis at Madison Square Garden, Florida coach Billy Donovan lamented that many of his players wouldn't have the emotional attachment that he has returning to his hometown of New York.
Donovan pointed out that several had never been to the city, and said he wasn't sure how much they would be affected by the trip.
Turns out, it was history lesson for both Donovan and the Gators.
“I said to our guys, ‘Do you want to go to Ground Zero?’," Donovan said today. "One of those guys asked if it was the subway system in New York. But you’re talking about guys who were 9 or 10 years old and not from New York, and we’ve got guys on our team who have never been to New York before in their entire life. You say ‘9-11’ and “Twin Towers going down,” they know that. But the reference to Ground Zero, they didn’t understand that term. It’s probably my fault for saying it the way I did."
Donovan said he knows his players know the tragic history of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and believes they came away with a new understanding of that period in history.
"I think those guys understood what happened and remembered what happened," he said. "I think for these guys to be there, and the snow and the freeze probably dampened it a little bit. They didn’t want to stay out there very long. But it was good for them to be able to go down there and see just different things from a history and educational standpoint and what happened to our country that day.”