JARRYD MCGUANE THE ADVOCATE It has been a whirlwind two months since Wynyard’s Tre Armstrong left the North-West Coast for the start of his college journey at Califoria Baptist University and he says he is enjoying the challenge.
The sharpshooter is back in the country this week for the Lancers’ Australian pre-season tour featuring five games across Victoria, the ACT, New South Wales and Queensland from August 1-7.
Armstrong said it wasn’t easy leaving what he had grown accustomed to on the North-West, but the support he had received in the US had made him feel comfortable.
“The transition has been good, it was tough at first when it came to getting used to my college schedule and being away from home,” he said.
“The coaches and my teammates have been great, we are in the summer and there is not as much school work to do.
“But that means our workload in the floor and the weight room is really heavy, training five or six hours in preparation for the season.
“That is huge step up from what I was used to with the (North-West) Thunder, but I was lucky to have some similar sessions with the Australian Emus camps.”
Armstrong said his transition had been made easier because living on the west coast of the US and the timezone had allowed him to be in constant contact with family.
“It has actually been quite easy to stay in contact with everyone and I would nearly be able to call my family and my girlfriend once a day,” he said.
“With technology these days, you nearly feel like you are in the same room with them because of FaceTime and other apps.
“It is also great that they can follow my progress easier because of that time difference.”
Armstrong has also been lucky to have been recruited to a college that has a history of having Australian players, with the guard being one of five on the roster.
The opportunity to hear an Australian accent has been huge for Armstrong.
“Having a few Australian accents around does make you feel less homesick, as simple as sounds, it definitely helps.”
The Lancers open their pre-season trip with a game on August 1 against Sydney University Comets, followed by games against the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence, Dandenong Rangers, Melbourne United and Cairns Taipans.
Armstrong said the game against the BA CoE team was the most exciting for him, getting the chance to play against his brother Taran and see his family.
“I am super excited to be back on home soil and even though we are going to Tasmania, it will be great to be in the country and playing in familiar venues.
“Taran will be playing and that will be really fun to play against him and the family are guaranteeing they will be up for that one and it would be exciting for me.
“I am of the understanding I will be getting good minutes on this trip and I hope I can make the most of them to get a role for the season.”