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Duluth East graduate heads to Australia for an international basketball tournament

Mia Anderson

For someone who has never traveled beyond Minnesota or Wisconsin, Mia Anderson’s passport will get a workout in the next week.

The recent Duluth East graduate will play in the Down Under Sports Tournament in Brisbane, Australia, but getting to and from the girls basketball tournament might present the biggest challenge.

After driving to Minneapolis this morning, she will catch a flight to Dallas and on to Los Angeles, where a 13-hour layover awaits before flying to the Gold Coast. The homeward journey includes a four-day stopover in Hawaii before ending up back in Duluth 12 days from now.

“We’re leaving on the 13th and arriving on the 15th. When we come back, we’re leaving (Australia) in the morning on the 21st and we’re arriving in the morning on the 21st in Hawaii,” she explained. “We’re going to arrive at a time earlier than we left.”

The 18-year-old Anderson is looking forward to her first trip abroad.

“I’m a little nervous, having never left the country before,” she said. “But it should be a great experience, I’m really excited. I’m excited to experience the culture and the animals. I’ve always wanted to go to Australia.”

Little did she know it would come about in this manner, however. Tournament organizers contacted Anderson at school for several months to gauge her interest.

“We didn’t think anything of it but they kept contacting me over and over again,” she said. “A couple months ago we looked into it and went to an online meeting and got interested. And here we are.”

It’s not cheap for attendees, however. Most of the expenses, such as flights and meals, are not covered. She will room with several of her teammates at a high-rise condominium in Brisbane. Four of her teammates are from North Dakota, three call California home and one is from Forest Lake, Minn., and played against Anderson at East.

Three days of 2½-hour practices and three days of 3-hour tournaments will be interspersed with down time Down Under. When in Hawaii, Anderson expects to attend a luau, perhaps visit the Pearl Harbor memorial and definitely take her first surfing lesson.

Wishing to continue playing basketball but undecided about her college plans, Anderson hopes this trip will help her sort out her options. The 5-foot-10 forward, who averaged 8.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game as a senior with the Greyhounds, says there has been some interest coming from Division III universities.

Maybe playing international rules, which includes a shot clock and a wider lane, will expand those options?

“It’s international, so you never know who is watching,” she said. “Maybe I’ll get picked up by someone internationally, that’d be cool.”


Mesabi East player headed to ohio all-star camp

Michael Greene of Aurora was invited to attend and compete at Football University’s Top Gun, a prep football all-star camp July 17-19 at Dublin (Ohio) Jerome High School.

Greene, a senior-to-be offensive lineman at Mesabi East, was selected as a result of his performance at Football University’s Twin Cities camp.