From Australia to Midland College, 3 basketball players find hom - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

From Australia to Midland College, 3 basketball players find home away from home

(Source: KWES) (Source: KWES)
MIDLAND, TX (KWES) -

Among the Midland College Women's Basketball Team 14-man roster, there are six players from outside the country. Three of them are from Australia. Bethany Theodore, Bianca Thacker and Ella Tofaeono grew up more than 9,000 miles away from West Texas, but the love of basketball separately brought them to Midland College.

The three 19-year-old's found their way to the United States to pursue their basketball careers. But like anyone from a different country, some things were a little different.

"The language barrier. You wouldn't think that there'd be a language barrier between Australians and Americans, but Texas alone there definitely is. I guess that was a little bit of a culture shock," said Tofaeono.

"A lot of my professors say fixing like ‘you fixing to go’ or things like that so that's different. We didn't really say that a lot," said Theodore.

"And ya'll is just in every single sentence. I'm like, 'Oh my gosh,"" said Tofaeono.

As these Lady Chaps get used to the different words and sayings, their taste in music has also expanded.

"That's a different thing. We don't really listen to country so much back home, but it's big over here like the country dancing, the line dancing. That's not the same kind of thing," said Thacker.

Coming in to a new culture also requires trying new food.

"A lot of things that we tried. We've tried to make a few things from back home and it kind of hasn't worked because the foods a little different but most things are pretty similar," said Theodore.  

Bethany and Bianca both knew about Ella before coming here, but one of them turned from rivals to teammates.

"I knew of Ella before coming here. We knew each other for like four or five years since coming here. We've always been rivals so I've always versed her," said Thacker.

Along with these three, the Lady Chaps have a total of six internationals so the adjustment hasn't been too difficult on the court.

"It's a completely different style of play here in America, but I guess we've just all bought into Coach Jones system and Coach G's system. So it kind of makes it easier to feed off of them. I think playing with other people, we have a girl from Great Britain, she brings her athleticism and that kind of feeds off Australian style of play so it hasn't been a big transition. It's a bit different but a good system. Everything just makes sense and meshes really well. It's kind of like you're baking a cake and all the ingredients come together and you get a really big fluffy cake," said Tofaeono.

The Lady Chaps told us the key to the team's chemistry is their coaches. The way they believe in every player ultimately makes them believe in themselves.

Copyright 2018 KWES. All rights reserved. 

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