Sept. 8, 2004
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Michael Joiner, who recently completed his career as a member of the Florida State men’s basketball team, averaged a double-double of 10.8 points and 10.0 rebounds to help the Score International College All-Star team to a 4-0 record during an eight-day basketball and goodwill tour of the Dominican Republic in August. In addition to its four game tour of the country, the players visited numerous poverty-stricken cities where they delivered food and supplies and taught the locals some of the finer points of the games of basketball.
“This was a great experience for me and the other members of the team,” said Joiner. “It was great playing ball again with a great group of guys, but the most exciting thing was doing God’s work while doing what we love.”
The All-Star team was sponsored by Score International Enterprises and Phil Waldrep Ministries. Score International is a ministry established to expose people to short term missions. The purpose of Score International is evangelism, encouraging missionaries and equipping the participants to do the work of foreign missions. One of the goals of the organization is to produce career missionaries and/or create greater partnerships between local churches in the USA and foreign missionaries. Short term mission trips include sports missions teams, construction crews, dental/medical missions, church youth group trips, home school groups, senior class mission trips and overseas couples retreats.
Joiner proved to be a team leader in the four games played during the tour. In the team’s first game against the San Lazaro Club in Santo Domingo, Joiner was fourth on the team in scoring with 14 points. The second game against San Carlos, the 2001 All-ACC Freshmen Team selection sparked a comeback in the fourth quarter as he scored eight points to lead the All-Stars to victory. Joiner was selected as the captain for the fourth and final game of the tour against the Dominican National Team. He finished as the team’s second leading scorer with 14 points as the All-Stars ended their tour with a perfect 4-0 record.
“All the games we played were tough games in an all-star mentality,” said Joiner. “We were together for a short time but were able to come together as a team. To be a part of that type of team process is very exciting.”
“I did nothing out of my character. I was just leading by example and our team responded,” said Joiner. “I played with a great group of guys who are good players at their schools and some guys who I had competed against in college. But for one trip we were able to put all those rivalries aside to play together, win all of our games and most of all have,” he said.
While on the All-Star team, the players did more than just move the ball. The players visited poverty stricken cities such as San Pedro in the Dominican Republic, where they carried supplies and food and played with local children.
“Visiting the Dominican Republic was an eye opening experience for us all,” said Joiner. “Just to see people really living in poverty — people who really do not have anything — and it doesn’t bother because they have the glow of happiness all around them. It made us all really appreciate what we have and who we are. If I get the chance to go again I definitely will.”
Joiner was joined on the team by Clemson’s Shawan Robinson and Tre Kelly and Brandon Wallace of the University of South Carolina among other players.