Australian basketball team hits the East Texas hardwood - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Australian basketball team hits the East Texas hardwood

LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRE) - East Texas teams faced an international challenger at this week's Livingston Basketball Tournament.

The Perth Wolves are a club team in Australia that is spending their summer playing in high school basketball tournaments across the United States.

"We are not just playing in Texas," Maileigh Zada said. "We have played in places like New York and will play in San Francisco and then Hawaii before we head home."

The players are from various schools from the Perth, Australia area. Some of them are teammates back home and the ones that aren't play against the others.

"It's just all overwhelming and a really amazing experience," Brianna Chambers said.

The team said the experiences on the court will stick with them, but the most interesting experiences have been on the road.

"The accidents are so funny," Kelsey Lehmann said. "And the food; there is so much."

"We went to Dennys to eat and we saw a lady outside with a monkey on her shoulder," Zada said. "We also saw a squirrel on the side of the road and we don't have those in Perth."

"It was scary at first because we were driving on the wrong side of the road," Matthew Vlahov said. "We drive on the opposite side of the road and we always think we are going to crash. It gets a bit scary."

The players are trying to adjust to the fast paced game and the coaches are finding the American game challenging as well, but welcome the learning experience.

"The refereeing here is a lot more lenient than where we come from, but I like it here more," said manager Wayne Hardman. "I like the physicality here. I like the flow. They let the kids play."

The players on both the boys and girls squad said getting the win is important, but gaining new skills to improve basketball back in Australia is just as important.

"The skill level out there is so good," Zada said. "It shows us how much we need to develop as a team and a country."

"I thought I played with intensity, but these girls are just crazy," Lehmann said. "They really want that win."


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