Blog 4: 11 January 2010

Last time I wrote I spoke about our upcoming trip to Arkansas, and it’s fair to say things didn’t exactly go the way I’d hoped. Not only did we come away with two losses, but I missed the second game due to illness, which was later diagnosed as mononucleosis (glandular fever). I spent the next two weeks in my dorm room, doing nothing but sleeping and watching TV. It was another two weeks before I made it back to full training, until finally I was ready to make my return over the New Year’s weekend for a double-header… back in Arkansas.

I played 13 minutes in my first game back in more than a month, as we won our fifth straight game. However, I caught a stomach virus that, without going into too much detail, had me spending more time throwing up in the bathroom than playing on the court. It also meant I missed playing in our big game against Division I Auburn, against whom the boys played well before a late Auburn surge left us down by 20 at the final siren. 

I was able to make it back for the start of conference play, though we lost at North Alabama. The loss left us with a 7-8 record on the season, but with three straight home games ahead of us – where we are 5-1 on the season – we’ll be keen to build another winning streak.

So, obviously this past month has been a bit depressing not being on the court, and needless to say, I’m in no rush to get back to Arkansas any time soon. But I was still busy in the classroom, as I finished my first semester of college with a 4.0 GPA (on a grading scale of 0 to 4.0) with straight A’s in my five classes. Spring semester classes started back last week too, and I’m taking English, physics, world history, personal wellness, and theatre appreciation.

Happy New Year to everyone back home,

Brett Seljak #40

Blog 3: 23 November 2009

Hey everyone,

This last month or so has been real busy for me and the team, as the season finally got underway after months of hard work and preparation. First up was midnight madness, which was an awesome experience. Coach introduced the team one-by-one as we ran out in our warm-up gear, before splitting into lay-up lines and putting on an impressive dunking display. I threw one down, but was more than happy to stand back and watch as some of my more athletic teammates took the stage with an incredible array of windmills, alley-oops and a crazy rock-the-cradle by freshman Antonio Johnson.

We travelled to Washington, D.C. for our first exhibition game versus Div. I George Washington University. We arrived a day early, had a light training session, and then spent the rest of the day doing some sightseeing. Got to check out all the famous landmarks, including the White House, the Washington monument, Lincoln Memorial, U.S. Capitol building, and the Iwo Jima memorial, which were all real impressive. Unfortunately, the next day we lost the game to GWU, but it was a great experience nonetheless.

We’ve played three games to start the regular season – all on the road – and have so far come away with one win and two losses. We lost our season opener to Augusta State – ranked top 10 nationally – before getting the win against Morehouse College. We then travelled to Georgia College & State University, where we lost a nail biter, after erasing a 12-point deficit late in the second half.

Through our first three games, I’m averaging 4.3ppg and 4.3rpg in about 18 minutes per game, including two starts. We got a couple of big games coming up, with our home opener versus Christian Brothers, and a tough double-header on the road in Arkansas (an 8-10 hour bus ride, sure to be fun). 

Til’ next time,

Brett Seljak #40

Blog 2: 3 October 2009

“Hey everyone,

I’m still loving it over here, just enjoying the college life. I’m missing everyone from back home in Geelong and Kilsyth though. I especially missed being home for the AFL Grand Final this past weekend. Luckily, the game was televised live on ESPN Classic from midnight. My Aussie team mates and I got together to watch the game, and as a mad Cats supporter I couldn’t have been happier with the victory!

Earlier this month we released our game schedule for the upcoming season. Head Coach Michael Cooney has scheduled three games against Division I schools; Auburn, Jacksonville State, and George Washington. As a Division II school, it is definitely exciting to get an opportunity to play against Division I opponents. I am especially excited about heading to the US capital of Washington, DC, for our season opener versus George Washington.  I’m also looking forward to our home opener versus Christian Brothers on November 24, and the January 30th game against in-state rivals Valdosta State, which is sure to draw a massive crowd.

Preseason training has kept us working hard, but it hasn’t been without its benefits. With three weights sessions a week (and an unlimited meal plan at the campus food court) I’ve been able to put on 12 pounds (5.4 kg) since arriving here. We’ve also been putting in work on the track, with two 6.30am runs a week, alternating between long-distance and sprints. The sprints are especially tough, comprising of 2 sets of 3 x 300m timed sprints. But I can already feel the improvement, and hopefully this will have me well-prepared once team training starts in a couple of weeks, and onwards into the season.


Brett Seljak #40

Blog 1: September 2009

I arrived in Atlanta on August 16th after 20 hours of combined flight time, where I was met by my Assistant Coach, Andy Young, who drove me to the University of West Georgia campus in Carrollton, GA, about 45 minutes west of Atlanta.

I am staying in the University Suites, where I’m rooming with Ryan Godfrey, a freshman guard from Western Australia, one of two other Aussies on the team. The other is sophomore Gavin Field, also from WA. Our residence is pretty cosy – we share a kitchen and bathroom between us – but we each get our own bedroom. We both bought 32-inch flat screen TV’s from Wal-Mart for our rooms, to take advantage of the free basic cable (80 channels), especially ESPN.

Our preseason training schedule is already keeping us busy; lifting weights three sessions a week, running at 6am twice a week, individual workouts twice a week, and playing pick-up whenever possible.

Classes started a couple of weeks ago, and I am majoring in Sport Management. However, we don’t start studying subjects specific to our major until our junior year, so right now I am taking a compulsory set of classes including precalculus, US history, computers and society, and world music.  We also have study hall five nights a week, which are one-and-a-half hours of mandatory study time for each player on the team.

UWG has an enrolment of just over 11,000 students for 2009. Our basketball stadium, the Coliseum, which was opened last year, seats 7,000 people and includes a huge jumbotron hanging over centre-court. We got to play on the main court for the first time last week, which was awesome. The stadium is huge, and although the bleachers weren’t out yet, I’m looking forward to playing on that court in front of a packed house. Also, the recently completed $29 million athletic facility, including a brand new 9,000 seat football stadium, is ready for the football season home opener on Saturday 5th September. I will be there for sure, and I can’t wait to see my first game of American football.


Brett Seljak #40

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