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Jonesboro embarks on long trip with good cause

Jonesboro's itinerary for getting to the 2010 Puerto Rico Hoops Championship in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico on Monday, isn't ideal. The Cardinals' only game that day is at 9 p.m., but when players hit the court, they'll have been up since 6 a.m.

To make the trip financially feasible, Jonesboro had to make concessions when it booked a flight. Instead of flying directly to Puerto Rico out of Atlanta, the Cardinals will fly early Monday morning to Washington D.C., where they have a layover, before catching a connecting flight, which will get into San Juan around 4 p.m.

Jonesboro will be in the air approximately 5 hours 35 minutes; the team will be sitting idle in airports for another couple hours.

Cardinals coach Dan Maehlman isn't concerned that the extensive travel will adversely impact his team's performance.

"They'll be so excited once they get there that I'm not worried," Maehlman said. "If they were old men, I probably would be. But they're kids, they'll be fine."

Once in Puerto Rico, the Cardinals will be playing in the Gold Division bracket. But they aren't going just to play basketball.

Maehlman said the team plans to go to San Jorge Children's Hospital to visit with terminally ill children. Coaches and players will give T-shirts, hats, basketballs and pictures signed New York Knicks guard and former Jonesboro standout Toney Douglas.

"They're huge on NBA players," Maehlman said, "so Rasham (Suarez) said they're going to be asking me all kinds of questions about (Douglas).

"We aren't just going over there to play basketball."

— Brian Paglia