The Badgers are finally in Australia and game day has arrived.
Today, Hawthorn Magic take on the University of Wisconsin Badgers in a US College Exhibition Basketball Game at Trinity Grammar, Kew.
The young Magic team improved throughout the 2017 Big V season, and at times demonstrated that they could match it with the best in the State-Wide Semi-Professional competition.
But they know that the Badgers will be their toughest opponents of 2017.
Magic have integrated several new players into the team for the contest against the Badgers, to add extra depth to the team that will be lead by local talent Jack Barry, Pravin Chelvan, Luke Sist and Alex Bogart-King.
Magic have secured the services of Big V imports Dillon Stith (McKinnon Cougars), Reheem Lemons (Casey Cavaliers), and Daniel Biber (Keysborough Cougars), along with former South Australian state league player, Nelson Kirksey.
Stith was a star in the Big V this season, averaging 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Cougars and will add some length on the wings, whilst Lemons had a very consistent season for the Cavaliers averaging 14 points and 6 rebounds, and will add extra scoring power to the Magic line-up.
Biber, at 6ft8, will add some much needed height to the team, along with recent experience against US College opposition. Biber will join the team having played for Melbourne United in their recent clash against the Texas Longhorns.
Whilst Kirksey hasn’t played much since June, his form last season in the South Australian Premier League, shows that he can score. Kirksey, a point guard, averaged almost 24 points for the Woodville Warriors, before being picked up by the Kilsyth Cobras during the off-season.
All four inclusions will add much need height and wing span at their positions, which will be a key to being competitive against a line-up that does not have anyone under 6ft2, and has seven players over 6ft8.
The Badgers are coming off two strong wins in New Zealand, against NBL side New Zealand Breakers, and will be keen to make it 3 from 3 today.
With a sold out crowd, it should be an exciting contest at Trinity Grammar, which is the first time the School has played host to such an excited event.
Tip-Off for the game starts at 4pm.
To watch the game LIVE clink here.