|Joe Moynier and Tyson Hackwell display their first place trophy from the Down Under Hoops Classic with Team Utah coach, Kade Morrill. The two Carbon County youth basketball athletes recently traveled to Australia to participate in the annual international event and returned home with top honors.|
Two local athletes lead Team Utah to a championship at the 2003 Down Under Hoops Classic in Australia last week.
Participating players in the Hoops Classic are nominated by coaches from their state.
Joe Moynier and Tyson Hackwell, both 2003 graduates of Carbon High were nominated and chosen for Team Utah.
"The ISS aim is to continue to provide athletes who excel in their sport the opportunity to experience the culture, beauty and grandeur of the land down under all within the framework of spirited and intense competition," explained the International Sports Specialist company which sponsored this year's event.
The tournament was composed of several U.S. teams along with squads from Australia and New Zealand. However, by the semi-final round, all remaining teams were from the states.
In the semi-final game, Team Utah faced an Oklahoma team. After a difficult start and a half-time deficit, Team Utah came back and beat Oklahoma by nearly 20 points.
In the final game, Team Utah defeated a team composed of players from Arizona, Washington and Oregon by the final, 43-32.
"We had a pretty good lead the whole time," Hackwell said. "I played point guard for most of the game. It was fun."
Throughout the tournament, Moynier and Hackwell had to adjust to several different rules. When bringing the ball out of the back court, players had only eight seconds to cross halfcourt instead of 10 seconds. Players were also unable to throw an out-of-bounds pass into the backcourt; doing so was considered a backcourt violation.
Other differences between U.S. and international basketball are a widened key. Instead of key dimensions in the shape of a rectangle, the lines widen toward the baseline.
"It was an experience and we want to thank the community for support us," Moynier concluded.
When the two athletes weren't competing, they were enjoying Australian amusement parks and deep-sea fishing.
The boys tried to refrain from spitting though, according to Moynier; there is an $80 fine for spitting in Australia.