Cougars Host The Dallas Flower Mound Rebels
Thursday night saw our very own McKinnon U18-1 Cougar Boys take on the Flower Mound Rebels. The Rebels are a Varsity basketball team from Dallas, Texas currently touring Australia. The team consists of home-schooled students from the Flower Mound area of Dallas, with all but two players under the age of 18. The Rebels are coached by Brad Chasteen, a veteran US high school coach with more than 500 wins to his name, and assisted by Booker Woodfox. Woodfox played college basketball in the States before playing professionally in Lithuania. Following the U18’s game, Woodfox enjoyed a run at the Cougars Big V training, impressing many of our senior players.
The team is owned by Neal Hawks, a prominent businessman and brother-in-law of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Neal is extremely passionate about the team, ensuring they have a wealth of opportunities, such as their trip to Australia, as well as building the Rebels their own court to play out of in Dallas. Neal is highly devoted to all of his players and staff and has given one Australian basketballer the opportunity of a lifetime in inviting him to live with his family in Dallas and play for the Rebels. The former Bendigo and Sandringham Sabres player first impressed Neal when visiting Dallas with a Horizion Sports Tour two years ago. Neal has since flown him to Sydney to play with the team and the Aussie star will be returning to Dallas with the Rebels following the tour. Ex Celtics and Mavericks player Michael Finley will also be joining the Rebels in Sydney and Day Dream Island.
The Rebels arrived in Australia (via private jet!) last week and following a week in Melbourne are currently visiting Sydney and then on to Day Dream Island before returning home. Whilst in Melbourne the Rebels have performed well in the Eltham-Dandenong Tournament as well as against Kilsyth and The Bogut Academy.
The game began with an exchange of team shirts and a quick pause for a team photo and then it was back to business for both teams! The Cougars performed extremely well against the bigger and older Rebels, keeping the game close for the majority of the time. The fast pace of the Americans did take its toll in the last quarter, particularly when down two Cougar players in Robbie and Lance due to injury. All of the Cougars performed well at both ends of the floor, with Jordan Geer top scoring with 16 points followed by Eddie Quinn with 10. The Cougars lost by just 15 points with the final score 58-73. Cougars 18-1s head coach and former NBL star Marcus Timmons agreed the boys performed well and that it was a great opportunity for all involved. The 18-1 boys, although tired from their Rebels game the night before, achieved a great win against Geelong on Friday night to continue their bid to reach a place in VC.
Check out our photo gallery here for all the photos from the game!