Sun Devils Down Under
May 24, 2001
(Note: Arizona State men's basketball player Brad Nahra has been with theSun Devils for the past three years. He has played a big role with the teamthe past three seasons, especially last year when Tanner Shell and JustinAllen were out for the season. Brad came to ASU to follow Rob Evans and hisstaff, as Nahra's brother was a manager for Evans' Ole Miss teams in themid-1990s. A high school star, Nahra is a solid player who will be one ofthree seniors on next year's team, along with Chad Prewitt and AwveeStorey. Brad will share some things from the Australian trip every coupleof days. Brad also has had the benefit of some great travel since coming toASU. In addition to the usual Pac-10 jaunts, he has been to Maui, PuertoRico, Texas, Utah and North Carolina three times in his three yearsprevious to the Australia trip.)
As I look back on my trip to Australia as we have entered Cairns (about athree-hour plane ride from Sydney) I still can't get the Australian RulesFootball Game on Sunday out of my head. I think it may be might futuresport to watch. We sat next to a bunch of kids from Australia that seemedto be fanatics. Basically, a bunch of seven-year olds were explaining thegame go us. After spending about two hours with the kids it is safe to saythere is a young group of Australian kids who are Sun Devil fans inMelbourne. We got lost on the way back from the stadium but it was a funwalk, there were about 12 of us and it took about a half hour.
Sunday was a travel day that also included our third trip in the evening.We left Melbourne and the beautiful Westin behind and headed for the muchlarger city of Sydney. We checked into our hotel early in the afternoon andhad just a few hours to explore the city. After visiting one of theshopping areas and seeing a man dressed as a donkey asking for change weknew this place was full of life. Our hotel was in a good location, withinwalking distance of the opera house and Sydney Bridge.
Our game was about an hour and a half away on Sunday and the heavytravelling took its toll. We came out very sluggish but bounced back tofinish the game strong. We got back to the hotel around 11 p.m., so it wasa long day, and we could not wait for some more days in Sydney.
On Monday we hopped on the bus and got a city tour of Sydney. The ridestopped at one of the country's newest locations, Olympic Park. It was niceto see in person where the 2000 Olympic games were played, thousands ofmiles from us. We then drove to Manly Beach where we ate lunch and boughtsome more stuff that we will probably never use again. That night we playedour best game of the trip and moved our record to 4-0 on the trip.
Tuesday was the best day so far. In the morning we went on a guided tour ofthe Sydney Opera House. Some people call it the Eighth Wonder of the Worldand I can see why. It is one of the most impressive things I have everseen. The Opera House, which is the most recognizable structure in Sydney,is also one of the most impressive places.
The place with the best views in Sydney is also the most extremeexperience. From the Opera House we walked to the Massive Sydney HarbourBridge with an arch of nearly 500 feet above the water. Our mission was toclimb to the top. The aerial climb was not as dangerous as may sound aswere clamped with a belt and wire for the entire climb. Even though we weresecure, your imagination runs wild as you stare at nothing more from 65meters than water and Sydney streets. Thankfully we all made it to thebottom with no injuries to report. Every player did the climb exceptDonnell, who is resting his head. The bridge is something everyone shoulddo when visiting Sydney. It was amazing.
We had the evening to relax and do some things on our own but after thethree-hour bridge climb and the Opera House tour everyone kind of took iteasy and maybe went to the casino. I enjoyed a nice dinner with ChadPrewitt and Ronnie DuBois at a seafood restaurant with the views of theOpera House and the Harbour. And one thing is for sureï¿½I have promisedmyself I will return to Sydney for a longer stay.
Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef are next!