By Liz Mullins
One thing the men’s basketball court was not lacking this weekend was international flair.
BYU’s own Charles Abouo played for the Ivory Coast two summers ago in the World Championships in Turkey. The St. Mary’s Gaels have a total of seven international players: five from Australia, one from Trinidad and one from Lithuania.
One of their most well-traveled players Clint Steindl has competed against teams from China, Mexico and Serbia. He says playing internationally has helped him prepare for both a college and professional career.
“I think just gaining that experience and seeing what different types of basketball are around the world you get to learn those different things,” Steindl said.
Assistant Coach Adam Caporn is also from Australia. He said the varied experience can give players an advantage.
“I certainly think it can help players in their development like I said in particulary their ability to create off the dribble and stuff like that,” said Caporn.
The players will be the first to point out the physical nature of the international game, which pushes them to play smart.
“I would say in the world championships and stuff everyone was a lot bigger, the teams were a lot better, a lot more skilled and i definitely had to learn to play against that type of competition,” Abouo said.
Caporn also said that the biggest challenge and honor for these althetes is being able to represent their country.