From the President







  My Response

  Letters to the Editor

  Online Bulletin Board

  Contact Response

  Submit Footnote

  Submit Letter to Editor

  Address Change

  Back Issues

  Response Home

  SPU Home

Autumn 2003 | Volume 26, Number 4 | Athletics
Basketball Down Under

Coach Chronicles the Falcon Varsity Squad’s Australian Tour

The following excerpts are from a journal written by Dan Barfoot, graduate assistant coach for the Seattle Pacific University men’s basketball team. Barfoot recorded his thoughts during a recent 12-day, five-game tour through Southern Australia.
The journey to Australia began September 6 in Seattle, as we checked in for our flight and prepared for one of the most memorable experiences of our lives: the SPU varsity team playing basketball against some of the best teams in Australia. Now 30 minutes from arrival in Sydney, I can feel the nervous excitement building in my stomach. It is only about 5:30 a.m. now in Australia, so our day is just beginning.
If someone could please fill me in on what happened on September 7, that would be great, as we lost it crossing the International Date Line.

We worked out today at the Sydney Kings practice facility, an old gymnasium with rickety wooden courts that seem to want to bow at any moment, but are quite bouncy.

Our tour guide dropped us off at a local ”RSL” club, saying it was where folks our age would normally hang out. It turned out to be the “Retired Serviceman’s League” club. We kindly departed in search of another place to eat, with plenty of laughs and stories to tell.


Day two in Australia was a great one, aside from a large majority of the game against the Sydney Kings. We had some brief glimpses of brilliance and a desire in our hearts to compete. But they were much more physical and ended up blowing us out, 119-79. We are not likely to see a better team all year, and this game taught us what we need to do to prevail against tough competition.

Following the game, we toured downtown. It was fantastic seeing the Sydney Bridge and the Opera House lit up at night. Jason Chivers and I walked around Darling Harbour, home of the Sydney Aquarium and the inspiration for the movie “Finding Nemo.” They are very proud of this fact in Darling Harbour.

Today we headed up to Manley Beach outside Sydney. The sun was bright in the beautiful Australian sky, and the waves were crashing onto the shores of the golden beaches. You couldn’t have asked for a better Kodak moment.

Game two: the Newcastle Hunters, a second-division team made up of local guys who have a passion for basketball. We made a lot more shots and physically dominated the Newcastle team on our way to a blowout vic-tory. Jordan Lee played spectacularly, pouring in 31 points, while Jason pulled down 18 rebounds to complement his 22-point evening. While we were still a little turnover-prone, we made some positive strides.

In our first home stay in Newcastle, [Assistant Coach] Ben Scheffler and I stayed with the general manager of the Newcastle Hunters and his great family. We walked through a wildlife refuge with some of the most beautiful birds I have ever seen, plus kangaroos and koalas.

Today we played the Grafton Vikings, a state league team full of locals about our age. Ben and I had stayed with Jo Morgan, a widow who absolutely loves basketball and has worked the scorer’s table for basketball games for 20 years.

The Vikings were fired up for the game. About 300 people packed into a small gymnasium and cheered loudly for both teams. They were especially boisterous when the Grafton team took a small lead early in the game. We ended up blowing them out, but the game was fun-filled and competitive the whole way through. Most of the little kids who had come to see the game stuck around and asked for our autographs. This was a huge thrill for our players, getting the rock-star treatment. The smiles on everyone’s faces were priceless.

Byron Bay, known as a small hippie town, certainly lived up to the hype. e town was quaint and the beaches pristine with a large lighthouse. From atop the rocks we could see miles of open ocean, with a small herd of humpback whales and a school of dolphins swimming down below.

We have played two games in less than 15 hours. Our first game came against another second-division squad known as the South-west Pirates. After we hit our groove, we won the game with relative ease. The team has shown some steady improvement — we’ve been able to fix some of our early mistakes.

The second game we played was against the Brisbane Bullets, one of the top teams in Australia. We played well for the first 40 minutes and hung tough against some good competition. But the physical and mental fatigue got the best of us.

It was exciting to gauge our progress during the 12 days we traveled Australia. Basketball may be what got us over to Australia, but what we brought back was so much more: a close bond and a closer call to walk with Christ, as well as gratefulness for the people we met and for what we have back home.


Back to the top
Back to Athletics

From the President
“What is a college education really worth?” asks President Philip Eaton. With universities under scrutiny today, SPU must reflect about its influence and impact.

Closing the Gap
In the final year of The Campaign for SPU, the University has strong momentum heading into the stretch. [Campaign]

A Record-Setting Autumn
SPU welcomed its largest and most academically prepared freshman class in Autumn Quarter 2003. [Campus]

Fighting for Family
The U.S. Marines asked Les and Leslie Parrott for help to strengthen the home life of soldiers returning from long Iraq deployments. [Faculty]

Creativity Takes Flight
Theatre graduate Sam Vance '96 is a man with the kind of vision needed by the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington. [Alumni]

My Response
“Dear Time Capsule Openers,” wrote Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Bruce Congdon to SPU students, faculty and alumni in 2053. His letter is now in a time capsule in SPU's new Science Building.