It's rare for high school basketball teams to play someone from another
state, let alone another country. Knox Grammar School flew 19 hours from
Sydney, Australia to Nebraska, where they played Pierce on Tuesday
Pierce found out about the Australian tour in May and finalized the game this summer. Knox Grammar is on their summer break, in the middle of their season. Knox has been going on an overseas trip every other year, for the past eight years. They've played in Chicago and have also been to Washington DC and Canada before that.
Knox played in Crofton before the stop in Pierce and it's been a rewarding trip.
"It's a great experience for the guys to get over here," said Knox head coach Jason Strong. "Not just the basketball, the basketball's fantastic, but the culture, they get to stay at the homes of the teams we play. They get to make, hopefully, lifelong friends and hang out with some of the kids they're playing against."
"The game's definitely way quicker than it is in Australia," said Knox guard Sukhman Bhinder. "The difference is size and athleticism so we kind of had to adjust to that."
Pierce won Tuesday's game 41-39, when Knox' shot at the buzzer was just off the mark.
The Knox players are coaches say it's 90 to 100 degrees in Sydney this time of year, so the cold Siouxland temperatures are new to them. For Pierce, the visit was about more than just basketball.
"We get two of them to stay at our house tonight. I know I have two of the varsity starters staying so it will be a fun experience," said Pierce senior Lane Rohrich. "They're good kids. They really talk to you on the court. It's just a fun time."
"They're going to enjoy being with our kids. I think our kids will enjoy being with them," said Pierce head coach Mike Emory. "Overall it's just a great experience to get to know some people from a different part of the world."
Knox will play Elkhorn Mount Michael, near Omaha, before playing in LA for their final stop.
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