Aussie girls win World Basketball Championships

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May 27, 2002
Canberra ACT Australia
The Opals smashed Russia in the final. When you consider how few play the game here and from such a small population base it's nothing less than a miracle. Still Australia is the most successful sporting nation on the planet per head of population. Any Olympics we win more medals per head than anybody. I'm not so sure it's a good thing though as the obsession with sport takes precedence over everything. As they say if World Was III started Aussies would still go straight to the back pages of their paper to read the sporting news. We are a weird mob.
Congratulations to the Opals! sprintman, I know a little about Aussie bball. We hosted an exchange student from Down Under several years ago who was a nationally ranked high school player there. Could he play? Flat out like a lizard drinkin' you could say. He led my son's high school team to within two points of a state championship that year. We ended up also meeting a former Australian Olympic basketball coach who knew his family and had helped him develop. Great footwork, intelligence, shooting skills, understanding of the game, and team play. Great defensively when he wanted to be. Great fun to watch as he dominated many more 'athletic' American players matched against him. He got college offers here but decided to return home for 'uni'. He is a true character and a delight to know. We stay in touch now and then. Interestingly, we found out our phone service had been restored after Katrina when the phone rang and it was our big Aussie ringer himself calling to check on us from Australia. I'm pretty fond of all things Australian.
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