A little bit of Southern hospitality went a long way for a team from Down Under.
The Fort Mill Yellow Jackets recently hosted the Geelong Supercats of Australia leading into their Region IV-5A schedule (see related story). The team of teenage boys and girls from Geelong, Australia, about 47 miles southwest of Melbourne, are out of school for the summer and traveling across the United States before school starts back for them in February.
The three-week tour has seen stops in San Francisco, Dallas, Orlando and visiting the hallowed ground of college basketball with stops at the University of North Carolina and Duke University, and recently they visited Fort Mill. Their tour started with a 15-hour flight from Australia to Los Angeles.
“This exposes our kids to high schools in America and some of them are looking at college (in the U.S.), so this helps,” said Sarah Monck, Supercats administrator. “It exposes our kids to a different way of life.”
As part of their trip, the Supercats play different high school teams across the country and knowing they were going to be in the area, they reached out to Fort Mill High athletics director and boys’ basketball coach Dwayne Hartsoe about seeing if there was an opening in his team’s calendar to play.
“It just worked out,” he said. “It is a good experience for the kids. I have done something like this in the past. I think our kids enjoyed it.”
Geelong is the second largest city in the Victorian state of Australia with about 192,000 people. The city is also known for the Geelong Football Club, one of the oldest clubs in the Australian Football League, what American’s know as Australian rules football.
The Geelong Supercats team is part of a bigger organization with men and women’s adult Supercat teams that play as part of the Southeast Australian Basketball League. The younger versions of the team are part of the Victorian Junior Basketball League.
Mac Banks: email@example.com, @MacBanksFM