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THE TRIP

Towards the end of 1995 -
I start reading Australian basketball magazine "One on One", and I see an ad for a basketball competition. The prize - to go to America to meet Michael Jordan. Ever since seeing my first NBA game (1990 Chicago VS Detriot - MJ scored 46), my dream was to meet him. I saw this as a way I could, and that same night, a player from my state team rang me up, asking me to join his team. I agreed, and I was so excited that I could hardly sleep.

January 1996 -
We meet at the Fremantle Esplenade where the tournament is to be held at about 8:00am. All we needed to do was say we were there, and we're in. We had already registered in the under 16 division, and we were confident, as all of us were in the state team the previous year. Although it was a 3 on 3 basketball competition, we did need a sub, so we chose to have 4 players. Our games began, and we won easily, our first by 26. And this was quite good, considering the games were only 2, 7 minute halves. We continued to win, and we were unbeaten up to the semi finals. At the start of this game, after a couple of minutes, we were leading 6-4. We ended up winning the game 45-4, going on a 39-0 run. The final was also another easy game, as we won by 20, which was our closest contest the whole day. We played 8 games that day, in about 30 degrees celcius. Our prize for winning the Western Australian round - an all expenses paid trip to Sydney, where the national finals would be played, in front of the Sydney opera house.

January 26, 1996 -
The national games were to be played. We had to be at the courts at 8:00am, and it was quite cold. We won all 5 of our preliminary games, quite comfortably. Then in the semi final, the winner would go through to the final, while the loser would have to play the winner of the other final. We beat Victoria by 3 points, and we would wait for the winner. Queensland beat Victoria in the other game, so it was Western Australia VS Queensland for the Under 16 Gatorade 3 on 3 championship. It was a hard fought game, and we eventually won 16-10. Our prize - to go to America to meet Michael Jordan!!!

August 8, 1996 -
We left Perth for Sydney, then Sydney for Los Angeles. We arrived about lunch time, then we had a 2 and a half hour bus trip up to Santa Barbara. That day was boring, as we didn't do anything!

August 9, 1996 -
We went to the University of California, Santa Barbara at about 1:00pm, and then we met Michael Jordan! We met him for about an hour, had photos with him, then he left. Later that day, we met some people in Sizzler during dinner, and it was weird because they said "what did you do today?" And we said "we just met Michael Jordan."

August 10, 1996 -
We had about a 3 hour bus trip down to our hotel in Santa Monica, where we stayed for a few days. The hotel was about a 5 minute walk from Venice Beach, where we spent about 5 hours that day. We walked along the paths, bought stuff from the side shops, saw Muscle Beach, and played on the courts White Men Can't Jump was filmed on! We played 3 on 3 pickup against some Americans, but we lost, because we were all tired.

August 11, 1996 -
We went to Disneyland!!!! We got there about 11am, and left at 7pm! It was really good, but heaps of people were there, so we didn't go on many rides. :-(

August 12, 1996 -
We hired a sports car and went for a drive around Hollywood. Then in the afternoon, we went to Universal Studios! We went on Back to the Future - the ride, and it was AWESOME!!!!

August 13, 1996 -
We went for a drive around Beverly Hills in the morning, then went to Knotts Berry Farm, which is a big fun park. It was cool too because of all the roller coasters! We got back to the hotel at about 12:40am, we were all not tired at all, and I had just bought a basketball that day, so we went down to the outdoor courts at Venice Beach and played basketball until 1:40am! That was a great experience.

August 14, 1996 -
We shopped during the day, and had to leave at night. :-( But I loved the trip, and I can't wait to go back to America.

Well, I have more to add, but I'll do it at another time. :-)

Email: swatts_6@hotmail.com