By TIM REYNOLDS, AP Basketball Writer
Orlando’s training camp schedule is being disrupted by Hurricane Ian.
The Magic could not practice on Wednesday because the storm was looming, and called off their practice on Thursday as well because Ian was forecast to seriously affect the Orlando area with its rain and wind.
Hurricane Ian, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the U.S., made landfall in southwest Florida on Wednesday afternoon, bringing massive amounts of rain — more than a foot in some cases — and knocking out power to 1.8 million people.
The Magic opened camp Tuesday, and haven’t been able to practice since. The plan calls for them to return to practice Friday, three days before their still-scheduled preseason opener at Memphis on Oct. 3.
Meanwhile, South Florida — which saw what was supposed to be its home game in Tampa this weekend with East Carolina moved to Florida Atlantic, across the state in Boca Raton — also has moved its practice operations. The Bulls are working out at the University of Miami’s facility; the Hurricanes, whose campus is about 45 minutes south of FAU, have a bye this weekend.
It’s similar to the Tampa-to-Miami-area relocation by the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who practiced Wednesday at the Dolphins’ facility in Miami Gardens. The Bucs are scheduled to host Kansas City on Sunday, but the NFL said that game may get moved to Minneapolis if Tampa cannot host because of storm-related issues.
The NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning have also moved their training camp to Nashville on a temporary basis, and will play the Predators there on Thursday and Friday. The Lightning have also postponed a weekend that was to be filled with fan events, including the team’s 30th anniversary season kickoff Saturday, an open practice on Sunday and coach Jon Cooper’s annual charity fishing tournament on Monday.
Earlier this week, in addition to the USF-East Carolina game, two other college football games involving Florida schools were changed because of the storm. Florida moved its home game against Eastern Washington from Saturday to Sunday, and UCF did the same with its game against SMU.
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