Richards' Australia Trip Diary

June 10, 2004

Iowa junior Lindsay Richards is a member of the 12-person Big Ten Women’s Basketball Foreign Tour Team that will play four games in Australia between, June 7-17. The roster includes one player from all 11 Big Ten Universities, except Indiana who has two. The squad is mentored by Hooiser Head Coach Kathi Bennett, who is coaching the foreign tour team for the first time.

Richards will be keeping a diary while traveling and playing exhibition games in Australia. Check back periodically to to read what her and her Big Ten teammates have been doing and results of the exhibition games.

Thursday, June 10
Well after a very long day of travel, we finally made it to the land down under. The time difference from Australia to Iowa City is 15 hours ahead – WOW! When we traveled to Italy last year for Iowa’s foreign trip, the time difference was only seven hours. Anyways, yesterday after we got off the plane, our tour bus picked us up, and took us on a tour of Sydney. We saw the Sydney Bridge, The Oprah House, stopped by the beach, and much more. It is really pretty over here. This morning we are going to the Sydney Zoo. I really hope to see a few kangaroo and koalas. Our first game is tonight against Parramatta ABA at 8:15 p.m… I can’t wait.

CLICK HERE for statistics and a recap of the Big Ten Foreign Tour Team’s 65-43 victory over Parramatta ABA Thursday.

Friday, June 11
Well it’s been a while since I talk to everyone last, and a lot has happened since then. First of all, the Zoo was really neat. We had to take a ferry over to the Zoo because it was across the water. We saw all types of animals. I took my picture with a koala and a giraffe. We also stood about five feet away from the kangaroos. They were a lot smaller than I had imagined, however they are still really interesting animals.

Later that day we had our first game. We won! The girls on the other team were really nice. They came up to us after the game and offered to meet up with us later that week and take us around the city of Sydney to show us some nightlife.

Yesterday we went to the Sydney Opera House. It was really amazing. The building itself is really spectacular. However, the actual opera and performance theatres inside, are that much more beautiful. Later that day I climbed the Sydney Bridge. That was an indescribable experience. I could see for miles and miles up there. It was a bit windy, but well worth it. The city of Sydney looked so beautiful from above. Well that’s it for now. I’ll talk to everyone later and keep everyone up-to-date on my new adventures.

CLICK HERE for statistics and a recap of the Big Ten Foreign Tour Team’s 84-41 rout over the NSW Waratahs Saturday.

Monday, June 14
Hi everyone. Well we are now in Queensland, which is about 45 minutes outside of Brisbane. The weather here is absolutely gorgeous; it’s been about 80 for the past two days. Our hotel is part of a Casino, there is always lots going on. As you can imagine, it is more vibrant and lively in the evening hours here too. Yesterday a couple of the girls and I went to Sea World. We had a blast. We saw polar bears, seals, and one of the girls even got to pet the dolphins. But I was a little disappointed at the fact that there was no Shamu. Anyways, we still had fun. Today is another lovely day. I think I might head out the beach for a while, but not for too long because we do have a game tonight. Well until next time… I’ll let ya know how the game went. Miss you all.

CLICK HERE for statistics and a recap of the Big Ten Foreign Tour Team’s 114-57 victory over Logan Thunder Tuesday.

CLICK HERE for statistics and a recap of the Big Ten Foreign Tour Team’s 75-64 triumph over the Southern Districts Spartans Wednesday.

Monday, June 21
Well after a long day of traveling I am finally back in the US, and man does it feel good. Well, if you hadn’t heard yet, we won our last two games, which means we finished 4-0 for the entire trip. Everyone was pretty excited about that. During our last few days in Queensland most of the girls spent their days shopping and buying the last of their souvenirs to take back home. Looking back on my trip to Australia, I’d have to say that climbing the Sydney Bridge was one of my favorites. I also really enjoyed hanging out with my Big Ten teammates and getting to know everyone. I think some friendships were made that will last a good while. The Big Ten Foreign Tour Team is a great idea and opportunity. I am really glad and fortunate I was able to participate. Well I hope that everyone’s summer was just as exciting and eventful as mine. Enjoy everyone and I’ll see you soon in November!! Lindsay.