ORLANDO -- The highlight of Georgia State's first full day in Orlando was a trip to the Orlando Magic NBA game as the Panthers prepare for Saturday's AutoNation Cure Bowl vs. Western Kentucky.
The AutoNation Cure Bowl between the Panthers (6-5, 5-3 Sun Belt) and the Hilltoppers (6-6, 4-4 CUSA) is scheduled for Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Camping World Stadium. The game will air on CBS Sports Network as well as the Georgia State Radio Network, including 680 the Fan and 1340 AM/103.7 FM in Atlanta.
"Orlando is the greatest bowl destination in the country. It's amazing. The weather is beautiful, and to be playing in the AutoNation Cure Bowl is fantastic," head coach Shawn Elliott said. "What a great cause, and we're proud to be here."
Wednesday for the Panthers started with spirited practice at nearby Dr. Phillips High School. After some free time in the afternoon, the entire team attended the AutoNation Cure Bowl's official Welcome Reception, along with their counterparts from Western Kentucky. The event was held at the Amway Center, home of the NBA's Magic, who hosted the Los Angeles Clippers.
Prior to tipoff, senior cornerback Chandon Sullivan and sophomore receiver Penny Hart, along with three players from Western Kentucky, served as honorary captains for the game and were on court to make the game ball presentation.
Sullivan, the three-time All-Sun Belt selection is playing his final game to cap off a stellar four-year career.
"It's a great feeling, especially as a senior, to have another opportunity to be back in the Cure Bowl and hopefully make up for last time," he said.
"We're going against a great offense. Their quarterback is an NFL prospect with , so it's going to be a great challenge for our defense, especially our secondary."
On Thursday, after another morning practice, the Panthers will have most of the day to visit the nearby Universal Studios theme park. And their head coach might be even more excited than any of the players.
"I can't wait," Elliott said. "I'm a theme park nut when it comes to roller coasters. Anything exciting and scary - put me on it."
Sullivan added, "I want to go down to City Walk, go to Universal and ride a couple of rides, but mostly just enjoy these last few moments with my teammates."