Player Testaments

Evan Browne, Ann Arbot, Michigan, 2010

Why is the Lightning team a good one? This organization is a supportive family oriented club and is responsive to a player’s needs. In addition, the coaching staff will challenge and provide guidance to help you play your best game. This support goes from the players all the way up to management. My teammates had a good work ethic and had high expectations.  

They gave me the tools and the connections to get a contract with the Australian Basketball Association, which I worked hard for, but for which they provided the foundation.

Jacinda Lambert, Boston, Massachusetts, 2012

I think it was great experience overall to be in Australia. I think we had the best host family in the sealys. Just comparing my host experience with other places I think the family overall cared and made sure we had everything we needed so it was a true home away from home experience.
As far as basketball, we were expected to win and we didn't so little disappointing..
One thing that needs to improve is the training of younger kids. It has to be a skills/training session not a practice session. I think you should try to have your Americans/import run a program once or twice a week for under 16s to develop their skills. I'm not sure if you can create a stipend with DBA or get sponsors, but it will benefit everyone if you have some kind of youth program in place.
I believe senior team members weren't used to the style or play of Americans so it took a while to bridge that gap. I know we had couple issues on the team and think its important to have coach and committee put everyone on the same page. Think there should be more effort for team outings that's mandatory so the imports can gel with the rest of the team.
There was a little bit of confusion regarding when we were suppose to be in Darwin and the job situation. I would have it clearly stated so imports not expecting certain things. Other than that I believe experience was great. I gained work experience by having a job. Met some really nice people and now I'm in Tasmania playing so it was a great benefit for me.
Thanks again!!!

Brittany Ward, Austin, Texas, 2012

 I love that Lightning is big on development and the sense of community/family the club is so well known for. But with anything in life, it takes hard work, determination, commitment, and practice to be successful (and I am not just talking about wins and losses). Push the kids harder by demanding more than 1hr per week of their time for training. Even if you went 2 days a week! The kids need to learn the fundamentals. I understand that there isn't exactly a high number of coaches with the knowledge and time available to teach the kids these skills, but perhaps a combined effort once a week would be a good idea.

 The kids need to learn how to compete more. Competition needs to be stressed more throughout the club. That’s were confidence is made and learning takes place. 

 Overall though my experience was awesome; I loved how much I saw the young girls on my team grow and develop! The Sealy's were absolutely amazing. I could not have asked for a better host family. They were so on top of taking us around to get amongst the tourist attractions. It was cool that our teammates wanted to tag along too! I also loved getting the opportunity to coach and do individual lessons. 

 Thank you all so much for your kindness and support! Best of luck in the season.




Zac White, Windsor Mill, Maryland, 2012


 Overall my time in Darwin was good. I think the club did a very good job of making me feel welcome and making sure I was comfortable. I guess in describing my experience I would break my time in Darwin into basketball, living with a host, and other things.

Since Darwin was my first time overseas, I hadn’t had many expectations about the basketball in terms of quality or style. I thought that although the quality wasn’t top notch, the league was competitive. At times, I felt that the effort wasn’t there in both
games and trainings. Trainings at times were very casual and lax. It showed in the games when we seemed slow or unprepared. Some of this goes back to coaching but most of it just has to do with commitment from the players but understandably, there isn’t much that can be done to fix that. Also, I think it might be helpful to have some of the juniors train with the senior men. Not only will it help the juniors improve (as long as the effort is there), it will allow the seniors to have enough people to have a meaningful training session. Having anywhere between 4 and 7 players is just simply not enough to really get the most out of the hour.

Living with Nicki, Tobias and Elijah was also, for the most part, great. Admittedly it was a little weird at first. For example, I always wanted to do things around the house. I found it was hard for me to find the line between pulling my own weight and possibly encroaching on the duties of the kids. At first I felt some sort of obligation to just spend time with the family but I quickly realized that they didn’t want anything extra from me, but just wanted me to be myself.

Besides the little annoyances with the kids (loud music, never-ending conversations), I had no problem around them both. It was great being in a family environment since I was in a completely new situation. Also great to have dinner prepared for me almost every night! That is something I really do appreciate and am very grateful for. It was one less thing I had to worry about.

Not enough can be said about how grateful I am for everything Nicki did for me. Maintaining her life and caring for her two kids while also constantly going out of her way to make sure I was comfortable was truly impressive.




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