University of Portland women’s basketball team on the rebound with help from Aussie trio

University of Portland women's basketball team on the rebound with help from Aussie trio
University of Portland women's basketball team on the rebound with help from Aussie trio(KPTV)
Updated: Feb. 17, 2020 at 5:55 AM PST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - An Australian trio of underclassmen has the University of Portland on the rebound in the women’s basketball program.

The dome on the bluff is some 7,177 miles from their home but the Pilots’ two leading scorers from Townsville, Australia are the perfect fit in the purple pit.

“They are in the future, so they are like plus-17 hours,” said Keeley Frawley, freshman forward at UP.

The new-look Pilots are living in the now.

“Being the underdogs, Portland, I think it is a really good thing because we can prove everyone wrong and come out in each game trying really hard,” Frawley said.

A hard transition to the states has been made easier with the Aussie posse trio.

“Having someone from home, it’s just a reminder,” said UP freshman forward, Alex Fowler. “Hearing the Aussie accent, it’s just good to have someone there that understands us.”

WCC third leading scorer and top assist queen from North Queensland, sophomore guard Haylee Andrews now has partners in the UP rebuilding process with Frawley and WCC scoring leader Fowler.

“Whenever either of us is feeling down, we literally just go to each other and just go, ‘let’s go out to dinner. Let’s just hang out, us three and get that feeling of home back together again,’” said Andrews.

While Andrews and Fowler played together for years in their hometown, Frawley was a good three-hour flight away in Melbourne. Rivals to teammates in embracing that American lifestyle.

“The portion sizes! Oh my gosh! Our large cups would be equivalent to your guys’ small cups,” said Andrews. “So you really have to think about what I am going to eat going on road trips to benefit myself.”

“Food portions,” said Fowler. “That and driving on the other side. Driving on the other side, I am adjusting still.”

Life on the other side of the globe has been a dream of theirs for years.

“When I was pretty young, 14, I just looked at American like a place to have opportunity,” said Frawley.

“I love playing against the other Americans and just showing there are Australians here that can make a difference as well,” Fowler said.

The difference to the quick turnaround in season one under former Southridge High School and George Fox head coach, Michael Meek, has been sleek with his family first approach.

“How we treat our players and how they treat each other is just a big part of who we want to be,” said Meek.

“I just hope for the next three-four years, this group will continue to improve and impress Mike, because we never want to disappoint him so we love doing that,” Fowler said.

Fourth place in the league in season one under Coach Meek, UP has three more games until the WCC Tournament in Las Vegas.