Charles Barkley Visits Hurricane Practice

Dec. 30, 2002

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – – The University of Miami football team practiced for two hours Monday afternoon at Scottsdale Community College and was visited by former NBA All-Star Charles Barkley, who spoke the team following practice.

“What a great day they (the team) had today,” Head Coach Larry Coker said. “The weather turned out awfully nice for us, and Charles Barkley spoke to our team for a few moments. It was a good workout and a good finish.”

Barkley watched the last 30 minutes of practice before addressing the team.

“The main thing he (Barkley) said was that he was proud of what we had done, and that we really have to work to finish the job. He also said not to take for granted that you are always going to play for a championship because sometimes you do, and sometimes it doesn’t come your way again.”

“What they have done the last three years, I’ve never seen done,” Barkley said. “Since I have been following sports, I have never seen a team win that many games in a row. It is amazing what they have accomplished.”

Coker said the team is healthy and working to stay mentally focused on Friday, Jan. 3, showdown with Ohio State in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

“Everybody is really in good shape,” Coker said. “The main focus now is the mental side of it. We are not going to physically jump higher or lift a lot more weight between now and Friday. But we have to be healthy and mentally fresh.”

UM will return to the practice field on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. with the workout scheduled to finish at 3:30 p.m. Those seeking more information regarding Hurricane athletics should call 1-800-GO-CANES or visit