Friday, April 23, 2010
Good Onya Mate
G'day Mates! As Coach Bin's first "guest blogger" I am honored. Here are a few tidbits from my recent recruiting trip to Australia.
The day that never happened: I left Bozeman on Tuesday 13 April (Aussies put the day before the month, I'm gonna try and see if I can start something like that in the states, overall it just gets confusing, especially on the first 12 days of the month). I was delayed on my flight from Bozeman to Denver and missed my connection to LAX. Not good when you only get a few flights to Australia each day out of LAX. Cristi at Anthony Travel was amazing and got me on a Southwest flight and I made my Qantas connection (My bag did not). I landed 14 hours later in Sydney on 15 April. Yep, 14 April never happened for me. Luckily I got to make it up on the trip home.
Packing Philosophy: When not traveling with the rest of the team, I usually pack a backpack with work/office things and a rolling carryon with clothes and toiletries. An international trip however I thought I should check a bag (might have to bring home some souvenirs for my daughter). Anyways after missing my connection in Denver, my bag did not make it to Sydney with me on 15 April. My bag finally arrived at our hotel on 17 April (yeah I was in the same Montana State shirt for most of the tournament) in time for me to take the bag back to the airport for our trip to Melbourne. I still haven't decided if I will carry on next trip, but I am definitely considering it.
FOOTY: For those of you that have never seen Australian Rules Football...find it on youtube! (Here is a clip Rebecca Mercer -(Bobcat Legend) sent my way: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrs-DpeRCas&feature=related) Ok, so my guide on this recruiting expedition was Kelvin Taylor from Showtime Basketball. He took myself and 3 other coaches to St. Kilda vs. Fremantle. All I can say is WOW! Our American footballers are soft, these guys are sprinting 12+ miles every game up and down a 150 metre field with no pads getting crushed. The fans are incredibly intense and the atmosphere was great. It was definitely not the last Footy game for me.
Basketball: I was here to work. And although I can't go into any detail (NCAA Regulation 13.9.2.rule2.3.niner.9993383) I will tell you that the level of play at the U18 championships was some of the best I have ever seen. The Championship of the U18 was one of the best games I have ever seen and it was what I wish our Championship game (UConn/Stanford) could be. Great players, great offense, strong defense and the best players making the best plays.
Longest day of my life: 20 April started before sunrise as me and the 3 other coaches grabbed a cab to the airport. 30 mins and $90 later we were at the airport. Our flight was then delayed almost 2 hours. Nearly 24 hours later I landed in Bozeman, still on 20 April (and get this...my bag didn't make it!).
Nonetheless, I had a great week, with phenomenal basketball, delicious food, and met some amazing people! I can't wait to go back :)