July 17, 2014
By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State women's basketball team is taking a foreign tour to Australia this coming August where it will play four games and visit three different cities in its 11-day trip from Aug. 9-20.
For the Bulldogs, the foreign tour comes at an opportune time as Fresno State is entering its first season under head coach Jaime White. The Bulldogs will have stops in three different Australian cities - Melbourne, Sydney and Cairns - where they will get a mix of both basketball and the cultural experience of visiting another country.
"We're excited to go," White said. "Obviously it gives us a little bit of extra time to be together in a playing situation and kind of a normal season-live situation. It's been a lot of preparation, especially coming in late, we've kind of picked up where the last staff left off.
"It looks like it should be really fun, we've got the itinerary dialed down and the kids are getting excited. We do have a little bit of preparation before, so once our kids get back we can start practice."
As allotted by the NCAA, the Bulldogs will have 10 practices beginning on July 28 to when they depart for Australia on Aug. 9. Then in addition to the four games the Bulldogs will play in Australia, they will also hold three additional practices there.
"It will be fun to one, start the practice part, we'll get to see our team in full practices," White said was one of the many advantages to this tour. "But two, to actually play in live competition will definitely help us to iron out some of those things that usually a team irons out in the beginning in their preseason."
Another advantage and really reward of this trip is continuing on with Fresno State's Australian connection. The Bulldogs have had 10 Australian natives, including current senior Alex Sheedy, play for them over the past 10 years. Although the coaching staff will not be able to do any recruiting while on the tour, the games will be open to the public.
"Obviously we have Alex Sheedy and we're excited were going to be able to go to her hometown, practice and meet with her family," White said. "It is kind of a nice reward for our girls and also for our Australians to go over there and play in front of their country."
Fresno State's first game in Australia will be played on the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 12, the Bulldogs' second day there, against the Sandringham Sabres in Melbourne.
"I'm really excited to be going back to Australia and to have the opportunity to play at home," said Sheedy, who grew up just outside of Melbourne in Moe. "It's going to be a fantastic experience for everyone involved. I'm especially happy for my friends at home to get the chance to watch me play with my team. The trip really gives back to the current and past Australians that gave their time and dedication to Fresno State and I'm really happy that I get to be a part of it."
The Bulldogs' stop in Melbourne will last four days and their second game of the tour lies on Thursday, Aug. 14 against the Dandenong Rangers. Other highlights of Fresno State's stop in Melbourne include spending time in the Queen Victoria Market, a BBQ at Sheedy's house in Moe and a trip to the Royal Melbourne Zoo.
On Friday, Aug. 15, the Bulldogs will depart Melbourne for Sydney. There they will play the North Sydney Bears on Sunday, Aug. 17 and hold one practice. The Bulldogs will have a sightseeing tour of the city, visit the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Aquarium in their three days there.
The final leg of the trip is a two-day stop in Cairns. The `Dogs will fly there on the morning of Monday, Aug. 18 and play their final game that evening against the Cairns Dolphins. The next day, Fresno State will take a trip to the Outer Great barrier Reef.
The Bulldogs will depart back to the United States on Wednesday, Aug. 20.
Fresno State's Australian Connection
Fresno State has had 10 Australia natives play basketball and attend school over the last 10 years. Those players are: Alex Sheedy (Moe -2011-Present), Bree Farley (Kadina, South Australia - 2010-14), Jacinta Vandenberg (Melbourne - 2012-14), Courtney Gaze (Melbourne - 2013-14), Rosie Moult (Olinda, Victoria - 2009-13), Emma Andrews (Victoria - 2007-10), Ali Drennan (Melbourne - 2008-11), Haley Munro (Montmorency, Victoria - 2007-11), Chantella Perera (Wantirna, Victoria - 2003-07) and Faith Probst (Rowville, Victoria - 2002-05).
Australian Trip Itinerary
Saturday, Aug. 9 - Depart United States
Sunday, Aug. 10 - Cross International Dateline
Monday, Aug. 11 - Arrive in Melbourne, sightseeing tour, practice at local gym
Tuesday, Aug. 12 - Visit Queen Victoria Market, Game 1 vs. Sandringham
Wednesday, Aug. 13 - Practice, BBQ at Alex Sheedy's House, Eureka Tower tour
Thursday, Aug. 14 -Visit Royal Melbourne Zoo, Game 2 vs. Dandenong
Friday, Aug. 15 - Depart Melbourne for Sydney, sightseeing tour of Sydney
Saturday, Aug. 16 -Practice, tour Sydney Opera House, Sydney Aquarium
Sunday, Aug. 17 - Game 3 vs. North Sydney Bears
Monday, Aug. 18 - Depart Sydney for Cairns, Game 4 vs. Cairns Dolphins
Tuesday, Aug. 19 - Trip to the Outer Great Barrier Reef
Wednesday, Aug. 20 - Depart Australia, return to United States
"Be Bold" - ESPN2 790 AM is the home of the Fresno State women's basketball team.
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