Skip to content

The Australian influence in college basketball is growing stronger

Nov 16, 2013, 10:45 AM EDT

Saint Mary's head coach Randy Bennett yells from the bench as guard Paul McCoy watches during the final minutes of their NCAA tournament basketball game against Memphis in Auburn Hills

One of the wonderful things about basketball is that it truly is an international game, but we see that being more common in the NBA. Basketball is played all over the world, but few groups of international ballplayers take advantage of our system of college basketball like Australians.

According to this interesting read from the Sydney Morning Herald, there are 54 men and 39 women from Australia playing Division I college basketball this season and that number is higher than I probably would have guessed.

The article also does a nice job breaking down some of the current connections between American and Australian basketball and the history of Australian players making a splash here.

St. Mary’s is also brought up in the article as they mention that since 2001 they’ve signed 14 Australians.

The Gaels have been successful in both their men’s and women’s program recruiting from the land down under because they try to make it feel like home for them.

Moraga residents and students have always accommodated Australian players, something Gaze immediately fell in love with.

”The people here really appreciate us and understand how far we have travelled,” Gaze said.

”They even have the Australian flag and the boxing kangaroo flag hanging at our court.”

With players like Dante Exum being mentioned in the same breath as Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Julius Randle as a potential top-5 pick in next year’s NBA Draft, Australian basketball should be taken more and more seriously, especially with a growing number of players coming to the United States to play college basketball.

Featured video

Derrick Gordon says 'Why not me?'