Team uses Australia trip as beneficial bonding time

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Team uses Australia trip as beneficial bonding time

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

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A glance around the Marquette women’s basketball meeting room reveals typical office items and notebooks, but there is one thing that stands out: a piece of aboriginal art.

The art was a souvenir from the team’s nine-day trip to Australia in August. Now the team is looking to use the chemistry built overseas to take the team farther in postseason.

“It was phenomenal. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” head coach Carolyn Kieger said. “It’s one of those opportunities that you really can’t put into words because I think we’ll all remember it for the rest of our lives.”

The team went undefeated in its games against professional teams in Australia. It gave the Golden Eagles an opportunity to play against teams with some similarities to BIG EAST competition.

“It’s similar to like a DePaul or Creighton, where everyone can shoot the ball,” Kieger said. “They have five people that can really stretch the floor. … We got a taste of what the BIG EAST is like.”

It also quickly exposed the team’s needs prior to the 2018-’19 season.

“We saw what our strengths and weakness were as a team before we started real games,” senior guard Allazia Blockton said. “Since then we have worked on those weaknesses in practice.”

The Golden Eagles played two games against the Sydney All-Stars and one against the Hunter All-Stars and VIC Youth Select.

“We got to play teams with different styles of play,” senior forward Erika Davenport said. “We played different lineups and had the new people come in and got them a good experience.”

More importantly, the team bonded by experiencing a different culture.

“Coming in as a freshman, Australia was great for me to build relationships and bond with my teammates,” freshman forward Chloe Marotta said.

The team visited an aboriginal community toward the end of the trip, exchanging team gear for the art now located in the meeting room. The team also played basketball with children in the community.

Other activities included climbing the tallest bridge in the world, seeing art galleries and snorkling.

“I loved the people of that culture and their background,” Davenport said. “I was so intrigued by it and wanted to learn more.”

“It was just a great and beautiful experience for us to share as a team,” Blockton said.

With these experiences and all the work they’ve done together to build a bond with one another, Kieger said she believes this group is on another level in terms of their relationships with one another.

“The chemistry and camaraderie on our group right now is better than I’ve ever seen or had,” Kieger said. “That’s going to carry a long way when it comes down to the end of the season.”

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