Editor's Note: Coach Frederick blogs from the beautiful city of Sydney as the Commodores take a break from the basketball to tour A.J.'s hometown. A good time was had by all with the team touring the harbor and having some time off.
Cheers. To steal a line from a man we met at breakfast today, "Melbourne is a nice city, but Sydney is a spectacular city." Everyone in our group considers themselves extremely fortunate to be where we are today. As a coaching staff, we are fairly well-traveled and have been to some beautiful places throughout the world. Sydney ranks as the best city for our group. If you have been somewhere better, please let me know so I can try and figure out a way to get there.
My apologies in advance for the shortness of today's blog. I figure most people are getting bored with me at this point and would probably like to read a different perspective. So, I thought I would throw a little Q & A in today. What better person to tell us about Sydney than the man who runs this place, AJ Ogilvy? Besides, have I mentioned we are in SYDNEY? This is no time to be on my Blackberry for too long.
A quick recap and on to AJ. After a three hour bus ride from Canberra we arrived at the Sydney Harbour Circular Quay Marriott. We are about 300 yards from the Sydney Cove, which holds the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Absolutely stunning scenery right outside our door. Even if anyone was tired from a long day of travel, there was nobody thinking about going to bed before doing a little exploring.
This morning we woke up to incredible weather. The gray, cold conditions of Melbourne and Canberra were gone for 70 degrees and sunny. The team met for a Harbour tour around noon aboard a cruise ship. The tour served as a great way for everyone to get initiated with the city and develop plans for later. We docked in Darling Harbour and split up from there. Everyone spent the afternoon exploring some part of Sydney. Five days in and we also had our first kangaroo sighting, as about half the team caught a ferry to Taronga Zoo. We have plans to see more wildlife in Townsville at our next stop, but some guys, especially Steve Tchiengang, could not wait any longer to see kangaroos and koalas.
By early evening the lobby was filled with guys sharing pictures and showing off souvenir purchases. The players went off on their own for dinner, with AJ and a few teammates heading to his favorite local restaurant Hurricanes. Another group of us hit a trendy BBQ restaurant in the Rocks district called Phillip's Foote. There we picked out our own cuts of raw meat and literally cooked it ourselves on grills scattered throughout the place. It's a cool concept, but at $30 for a steak, I'd rather have an expert cook it. Still, a good time was had by all.
I should also mention that Joe Duffy, who unfortunately caught a 24-hour bug, began to turn the corner. We are all hoping by tomorrow he will be feeling better and be able to play.
Tomorrow night we play the Wallongong Hawks, an NBL team who just defeated St. Mary's a few days ago. The game is at "The Hills" gym two blocks from AJ's house and is already sold out. It doesn't get much better than that!
Until then, goodnight from Sydney.
Coach Frederick with A.J. Ogilvy
How cool was it growing up in Sydney?
It was a lot of fun growing up in Sydney. And it's been great to show everyone around the harbor and what a great place this is.
Favorite part of living in Sydney
My favorite part of living in Sydney is the people and the place. It's such a good place to grow up with a lot of things to do. And as you get older, there's a lot of things to do as well.
How have you enjoyed the trip so far?
The trip's been great. I think the guys have had a great time and it's been great to show them around. We've also been playing some really good basketball and I think things are coming together well.
What was it like for you to play at AIS?
It was great to play there and to compete against the guys I played with and lived with for a couple of years. I didn't play all that great, but it was still fun to compete against them.
Tell us about the game tomorrow night.
Wallongong is a good team and they beat St. Mary's the other day. We're expecting a good game. I heard their imports (Americans) are really good so we'll have to bring our A game. It should be really competitive.
And is that gym close to your house?
The gym is two blocks from my house, and from what I've heard from my Mom is that they've closed the whole stadium (a sellout). It should be a lot of fun and it will be good to see people I know and to get some support.
Are you going to have the shooting touch on your hometown rims?
Yeah, hopefully get a more friendly roll than I had at the Institute and get the friendly rolls I got growing up.