Clifford’s Take: Day One In Spain

August 26, 2012

The Boston College men’s basketball team took off for a 10-day trip to Spain on Saturday, and they enjoyed their first full day in Madrid today. Sophomore center Dennis Clifford took some time to give The Heights a little insight into how the trip has been going so far, including the scoop on Ryan Anderson’s unpopular clothing purchase. Here’s Clifford’s take:

We landed first thing in the morning after a seven-hour flight across the Atlantic.  The airport was much different than anything else I had ever seen.  The architecture seemed to focus more on style and creativity giving us plenty to look at already.  I had no idea what to expect so the whole bus ride over we were taking in the sights.  Most of the guys were snapping more photos than you could ever believe, breaking the selfie-taking record.  It also seemed as if Ryan Anderson and Lonnie Jackson were competing to see who could get more Facebook likes within a matter of seconds.
We were all so tired from the long plane ride but all too excited to get a moment’s rest.  We drove by a lot of different landscapes on the way to the city, passing different parts of the Madrid cityscape before reaching the tall buildings that welcomed us into Madrid.  The city of Madrid is much more diverse in its landscape and more visitor-friendly.  It also has an odd assortment of parks and gardens in between tall buildings mixed in with hotels and car dealerships.  After about 30 minutes of touring on the way back from the airport, we got to the hotel and we had a chance to try our first Spanish meal as a team.  Ryan and I then went up to our room, which comfortably fits no one.  Our beds are smaller than at school, and both of them are pushed together with nowhere else to move them.  We figure this is karma for making fun of Jordan Daniels’ height as much as we do.  The best part so far for me is trying to order food and mingling with the Spanish locals without having a remote clue as to what they are saying. I know about five Spanish phrases, so communicating through hand gestures and other forms of sign language is a great adventure.

(Picture from head coach Steve Donahue’s Twitter account:

We had a short practice at 1 p.m., which gave us a chance to get our blood flowing and remove any muscle soreness from being on the plane.  After we were done we took a tour of most of the city and we were allowed to wander around with free time.  The team then went to the [Plaza Mayor] where there are hundreds of people walking around and shopping.  It was really cool to be thrown into the Spanish culture like we were.  Some of the guys bought t-shirts and other clothing articles; Lonnie took an hour and a half to decide whether or not to buy a pair of shoes, which he still is talking about now (he didn’t buy them). Ryan got a fedora-style hat against the advice of every single person on Earth.  The hat is absolutely awful, but he likes it so we have to let him be him. We all had a fun and eventful day, and now after team dinner, all of us will be going to bed pretty early for our first hours of sleep in forever, in order to get ready for tomorrow’s night game.

Clifford will be blogging a few times for The Heights throughout the trip to Spain. Check back here for more insights during the 10-day trip.


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