ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) -- This group of teenagers, has followed the bouncing ball, on a nearly 10 thousand mile roundball journey.
"We're looking at 25 to 28 hours traveling time," said Greg Jones, U.S.A. Pathways coach.
They traveled from Sydney, Australia to the Commonwealth of Virginia.
"Basically see where they sit on the basketball spectrum and see what they need to do to improve their game, either to just move on as a good social player develop into a good representative player and for probably three or four of the players here there is a possibility for high school and college progression involvement so overall, it's a life experience and one that they'll take with them and so they thoroughly enjoy it from the sporting side and the culture side and the friendships they forge as well," Jones said.
USA Pathways Basketball played in a team camp at Northside High School earlier this week. They'll spend a few days at Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, learning from head coach Chad Myers and William Byrd High School grad Chad Myers. From there they'll take part in a couple more tournaments, and make a few college visits here in the states, before heading back to hoops Down Under.
Chad Myers, Massanutten Military Head Coach, said, "I think they just want to get a taste of American basketball and American culture so it's great for them to come in here and play teams in the Roanoke area but also, we'll take them around to see local colleges. They'll get a chance to see colleges and universities while they are here as well."
"They haven't had the same sort of development and progression as a player that normal representative association players would have so we want to put them in an environment where they're coached by an outstanding coach in Coach Myers at Massanutten. They get to forge new friendships and face new challenges on the basketball court," said Jones.
This is the third straight year that Coach Jones has brought a team to Virginia to speak the universal language of basketball.
Kevin Achampong, an Aussie basketball player said,"It's a little bit more physical here, a lot more fast paced but we have a couple more games coming up and we'll try to adjust to that. A lot of these guys are looking to learn how basketball works and how to approach certain things."
"For basketball, the language is kind of the same when you talk about how to guard screens and how to play motion offense, all of those things. For me, I'm learning more about the Australian culture than I am about the Australian basketball game which is really neat too," said Myers.