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Korby's Corner....FDLTCC vs. Australia

CLOQUET—Ann Collman has been in plenty of basketball games throughout her playing career, yet her last one that will likely leave the most lasting memory.

Collman and her Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College women’s basketball teammates took on the Broadmeadows Broncos of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, at FDLTCC last week.

Yes, I said Australia. Like, the ones from “Down Under.”

Under the scoreboard’s final count of 54-41, the Thunder’s double-digit loss last Tuesday on campus was far from the main story on an evening of memories for all involved.

The Broncos, a member of the Australian Basketball Association (the second-highest level of play within their continent), are a high school traveling team comprised of talented teenagers who take to the court around the world.

Last week’s trip to northern Minnesota — where Broncos Coach Glen Milner has brought his team to several times — was part of a one month spree, also including stops in Boston, New York, Dallas and Hawaii, according to FDLTCC women’s Coach Laura Sylvester.

“I’m really glad we were able to do this, they were such a neat group,” said Sylvester of the Aussie team. “Our girls had a lot of fun. They really enjoyed having them over here.”

Sylvester said she received an email from Milner about the game once the Broncos discovered they were not allowed to play high school competition within the state, as they had done in the past. Members of the Broncos, which often see snow for the first time when they get to Minnesota, certainly have skills.

“They were basketball players — definitely hoopers,” described Collman, who admitted there were a couple of rule interpretations the Broncos didn’t understand and one instance of confusion while at the free-throw line. “It was a lot of fun.”

Collman, a Cromwell-Wright graduate and now recently graduated from FDLTCC (1-10), was by rule, allowed to play once more over the semester break, much to her excitement.

“I thought I’d be done the game before,” said Collman on Monday outside of the gymnasium. “I was really upset.”

The game was a fun one for all. While Collman got to play, Sylvester said they got a Broncos banner for her office. She added all 42 parents, players and coaches spent their New Year’s Eve at the Mall of America.

On her phone, Collman also has the photo the teams took together, while Collman noted she and her teammates got koala bears with boomerangs and Broncos patches as gifts.

“It was so cool,” Collman said. “I’ll never forget it.”