Two Eurobodalla teens have returned from a successful basketball trip to the United States with Team Oz.
Jeremy Harding and Riley O’Shannessy were among 20 players selected for the tour of Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Los Angeles was “only meant to be a warm up” for Las Vegas according to O’Shannessy, but the competition was fierce.
“The competition in LA was of a better quality, and the atmosphere was better,” O’Shannessy said.
“We played in a complex with 25 courts.”
The LA contest, the ‘Double Pump Best of Summer Tournament’, was held from July 20-23, and gave the pair a brush with fame
“We played against LaMelo Ball’s ‘Big Ballers’ team,” Harding said.
LaMelo Ball is a member of LA’s famous Ball family, probably most famous for their patriarch, LaVar, who is known more for self-promotion than basketball skills.
LaVar’s oldest son, Lonzo, was recently the second pick in the 2017 NBA draft, and will play for the Los Angeles Lakers next year.
“Lonzo was in the crowd watching, and LaVar coached the side,” Harding said.
“We all had to sign waivers to make sure we could be filmed for the family’s reality TV show.”
In Las Vegas, the ‘Bigfoot Las Vegas Classic’ didn’t bring any wins, but did bring success of other sorts.
“Our coach (Warren Rosen) told us a number of college coaches had asked for tapes of us playing,”O’Shannessy said.
And while both boys hope for a chance in an American college, they’ve certainly got their favourites picked out.
Interestingly, Harding and O’Shannessy picked opposite sides in one of the most fierce rivalries in American college hoops.
While Harding’s dream school is Michael Jordan’s alma mater, North Carolina, O’Shannessy was quick to pick Duke.
“I don’t think it would change our relationship,” O’Shannessy said.
“We’d probably just have a little friendly banter on the court.”
The teenagers got a small taste of college hoops, as they were lucky enough to visit both UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) and UNLV (University of Nevada, Las Vegas).
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