DIBOLL, TX (KTRE) - The Diboll Lumberjacks hosted a basketball game Tuesday night that had an Olympic feel to it.
The Lumberjacks hosted the Hawthorne Magic Basketball Club from Melbourne, Australia. Diboll won the game 54-49 but for the Magic is is an experience they will never forget.
"We get to experience a different culture of high school basketball," Head Coach Marcus Timmons said. "Basically you're coming here so they can see what varsity basketball is and how the crowd comes here and watches the team in the whole town supports the high school. "
If anyone in Australia can teach the youth the American game it would be Timmons.
Timmons played in the NBA for 2 seasons. Timmons played for Southern Illinois University and was part of the team that went to three NCAA Tournaments and the NIT.
After his NBA career he ended up in Australia playing for several teams but mainly the Melbourne Tigers. The trip back to the states was not a short one.
"We left on December 26 and it took almost 32 hours," Timmons said. "We flew from Melbourne to LA. It was a 14 hour flight. LA to Atlanta and then Atlanta to North Carolina."
The team had a short camp and then began playing games. Timmons pointed out there are differences that stick out right away.
"Here you have some teams that practice everyday and then have games twice a week," Timmons said. "All these guys train twice and then play on Fridays."
The players were able to pick up on the skill set really fast.
"Everyone here in America is great," team captain Nick Kafar said. "No matter if their 5' 7'' or 6' 10'', they are always going to try hard against you and they're always going to play their hardest and that is really cool."
The teens just finished school in December and have almost two months of free time so trips to America work great for Australian teams.The Magic have played games in Raleigh, NC, Dallas, San Antonio and now Diboll. It is not just the basketball that is interesting. The culture of America is something the players have never seen.
"Everything is huge," Kiafar said. "Food, Cars, Stadiums, they are all really big. That is what everyone has noticed. We travel a lot on a bus and there are cars everywhere and then there are these big utes. Utes are what you guys call trucks. They are so big over here."
In other games, The Lufkin Lady Panthers were able to pick up a convincing home win over The Woodlands 67-31. Huntington played host to Madisonville and lost 70-68. The Diboll girls team picked up a convincing 87-17 win over Shepherd.