Q&A with Alex Pribble
July 19, 2006
BERKELEY - Alex Pribble, who will be a senior guard for the Golden Bears this season, recently returned from competing with the U.S. team at the inaugural Maccabi Australia International Games in Sydney July 2-10. A member of Team USA Blue and playing against an international field, Pribble helped his squad to a bronze medal.
The Maccabi Australia International Games team was sponsored by Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel. More than 750 athletes representing 15 countries took part in the Games, with the U.S. fielding teams in 15 different sports.
Pribble sat down with CalBears.com to talk about his trip overseas.
How did you become a member of the team?
Coach (Ben) Braun coached the U.S. team in 1989. Through him and through someone who was on our Italy trip last summer (Richard Green), they told me about it. It sounded unbelievable to me. There was a resume and recommendation process. They took all of the applications, made a few phone calls, and put together the team.
Who were some of your teammates and did you know any of them previously?
There were two U.S. teams. I didn't know anyone on my team. I knew one player on the other USA team, who played at Saint Mary's. We were like a family. Everyone was great. Our center was from Arizona State (Andrew Ecker). Our point guard played at Yeshiva University and had played in Israel for a couple of years. We also had a player from Eckerd (Chase Kosterlitz) and one from Carnegie-Mellon (Bary Dunn). That rounded out our starting five.
How was the competition?
We won the bronze, which was pretty good. But the other USA team was very good. We had a tough game against Canada; they beat us by three.
How much did you enjoy the experience?
I wouldn't trade it for anything. I absolutely loved it. There was a one-week training camp and two weeks in Australia. We (the team) became best friends after two days. We all shared something - a religion - but it wasn't the religious aspect of it that I cherished the most. It was that we shared common values. For whatever reason, that tied us together. It was a great experience.
Were you able to be a tourist during your time in Australia?
A little bit. We had five days of competition and we were there for 12 days. We got to see the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Bridge, took a tour of the harbor, went to Bondi Beach, went to the zoo and saw some koalas and kangaroos. The aquarium is supposed to be the best in the world, and it was. It was unbelievable, especially the sharks and the stingrays.
What was the best part of the trip?
My teammates. I love all of my teammates here at Cal, and these guys were very similar. The family atmosphere that we have at Cal was also there at the Maccabi Games. It was so special because we found it in two-and-a-half weeks. It was very memorable for me.