Recently, I travelled to China with the Gems, (the U/19 Australian Women’s national basketball team). It was a four nation tour, competing against China, Brazil and the USA. Over two weeks we played in three different cities.
In the first city, Nan, we had a good start beating Brazil 62 to 46. The following day we lost by 1 point to USA (67 to 68) and the third day we lost to China 55 to 67. A tough two games! At our second stop, Yuan, we got back a good win against USA, 59 to 49. Things were starting to come together. Unfortunately, we lost to China again, 52 to 64, but got another win back against Basil 65 to 59.
We had a great start in the third and final city, Dong Xiang, beating China 58 to 51. Unfortunately again, we were unable to back up such a great game and lost to the USA 63 to 85. In our last game against Brazil, the girls finished off strong, winning 87 to 70.
There was a lot of basketball in the two weeks, so not a lot of time for much else. However, we were able to squeeze in a short trip with the Brazilian team to some hot springs in Yuan. In this city we were also given the chance to go to one of the local schools to meet the kids and run a basketball clinic. This was such a great experience and the children at the school were very appreciative.
Overall, it was a fantastic opportunity for the girls to develop as a team and great preparation for the 2013 World Junior Championships in Lithuania to be held in July. For myself personally, it gives one a great appreciation for the rigors of travelling with a sports team at an International level and the demands of sports physiotherapy.
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