USA Tour Boys 2016-17
McKinnon’s annual USA Tour saw two boy’s teams plus 6 staff head over stateside on a 19 day tour. Based primarily around North and South Carolina, both teams played a total of 6 games against various High Schools which included participating in the Cleveland County Holiday Classic Tournament hosted by Shelby High School in the west of the state of NC. On Day 2 of the tour, the group attended the well-known Accelerate Basketball Training Facility in South Carolina to participate in an up-tempo session to get the boys acclimatised to American conditions. This facility is currently responsible for the individual training of several NBA players including Golden State Warriors player Steph Curry.
The touring party attended several prestigious academic institutions including Duke University and the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill). UNC is the alma mater of Michael Jordan and touring the campus showed us the rich history of Tar Heels basketball. We were lucky enough to chat with two Aussie young guns at Colleges (Jack White at Duke University and Xavier Cooks at Winthrop University) and both boys spoke about the day to day activities of being on a basketball program.
New Year’s Eve saw the group attend the NBA at the Spectrum Centre in Charlotte to take in the Charlotte Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers game which featured well known players LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kemba Walker. Sitting courtside during the pre-game warm-up provided the opportunity to be up close and personal with the players and to get some great photos!!
The Varsity Team concluded the tour with a 3 & 3 record whilst the Junior Varsity Team claimed a 4 & 2 record. Both teams played solid basketball throughout the tour and all players enjoyed the opportunity to play basketball against quality opponents.
The shopping malls certainly proved to be a hit during the tour with several purchase of runners and other apparel weighing down the luggage!!
The last 3 days were spent on the west coast of America with stopovers in San Francisco and Los Angeles providing the opportunity to visit well known destinations as Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge and of course Disneyland and California Adventure Park.
The boys made many friends along the way and there is no doubt that they will each take away memories that will live with them forever.