(Image by Chip Broomfield, ProMotion Ltd./cubuffs.com)
This season, head coach Jeff Bzdelik and the rest of the Colorado men’s basketball team will add a little bit of international flavor with the addition of freshman point guard Nate Tomlinson.
Tomlinson isn’t your average freshman, with him being the first ever Australian to play basketball at CU.
Though Boulder is a long way from his hometown of Sydney, Tomlinson has adjusted to American culture thanks in part to him spending the last two years at Lee Academy in Maine, where he averaged 12.5 points and 7.5 assists per game as a senior.
The Aussie also has some accomplishments in the international spectrum where he was a member of the Under-19 team during the summer of 2007 where he competed in Serbia for the World Championships.
Tomlinson will be competing for the starting point guard position this season as Bzdelik continues to rebuild the program.
Here is my conversation with Tomlinson on the team’s media day on October 9:
RK: You’re Australian born, but you’ve lived in Maine for the last two years, what has been the biggest difference from Australian basketball to American basketball?
NT: Well I played prep school so the style of play was a little different; it was more one-on-one kind of stuff. Back in Australia it’s more structured because we’re not as athletic or skilled as they are over here, so more individual sort of play I would say because of prep school.
RK: What’s some of the things that you love about Colorado that made you come here?
NT: First of all these guys here, all these guys, the basketball program, coach Bzdelik, all the coaching staff, and just the city of Boulder.
RK: What has been your favorite part of Boulder so far?
NT: So far the weather, the weather has been awesome compared to Maine. It gets kind of chilly up there, but the weather, the people are great, and everyone is just great here.
RK: What’s been the biggest difference culturally from Australia to America?
NT: Culture wise, not too much, I’ve been around basketball so that’s sort of American culture. Basketball goes hand in hand, so not too much, maybe sports, we have a few different sports then what you guys have. Also, the U.S. culture and universities, we don’t have that big of sports and universities back home, so that culture is a little different but nothing too much, we do the same kind of stuff that you guys do.
RK: Are you a big rugby fan?
NT: Yeah I am, but actually my sport is Australian Rules football, that’s my favorite, but I’m a rugby fan.
RK: Do you miss rugby since it’s not on the television?
NT: Yeah I do, the grand final was last week, but my team lost which was bit of a bummer. I actually saw outside on one of the fields that you guys have a rugby team, I saw some girls playing the other day so that was pretty awesome.
RK: Who’s your team?
NT: My team is the Melbourne Storm.
RK: What’s in your CD/MP3 player?
NT: I like some Rap, R&B, that sort of stuff, but a little Australian twist now and then.
RK: Who’s your favorite Artist?
NT: At the moment probably Lil Wayne and Jay-Z.
RK: What’s your favorite Car?
NT: I saw a pretty nice Hummer the other day, it looked alright. I can’t afford a car at the moment so I guess I can’t say.
RK: If you could afford a car, which one would it be?
NT: Definitely a Hummer.
RK: How have you done with American slang compared to Australian slang?
NT: I feel I’ve done a pretty good job, I think I have missed a few words because I was using my own slang words but not too much. I knew most of the words, but I did miss some when it came to food and that sort of stuff.
RK: Have you been back to Australia lately?
NT: I go home over the summer, I try to go home at Christmas but this time I can’t because we’re going to be in Hawai’i.
RK: Have you got used to the long flight?
NT: I have, the first time it was unbelievable, it took forever, but now I’m so used to it I just fall asleep
RK: What’s the one thing you really miss about Australia?
NT: My family and friends. Most of all my family and friends, my girlfriend is coming over here in the start of December so that will be good.