HAMBURG (FIBA U17 World Championship) - In spite of the disappointment of having just crashed out of the tournament at the hands of undisputed favourites USA, Australian number 4 Daniel Hill was kind enough to give FIBA.com a brief interview on what this experience has been for him and his cheeky team-mates.
Hill is the shortest player in the FIBA U17 World Championship, but I am not certain whether he knows it or not. At 176cm he is by no means short and is among a very small number of players at this Championship that I can look in the eyes.
Incidentally, he is also a very talented point guard, a beautiful dribbler of the ball who can drive and turn with beautiful skill and balance.
Hill is also a young man who is very much enjoying his first World Championship.
FIBA: Your quest for the title just ended about half and hour ago, can you sum up your Championship so far?
Hill: We started off slow against Poland and Canada, but we bounced back against Germany Spain and Korea, which really boosted our confidence. We were unlucky not to get through (to face Lithuania instead of the USA).
Our confidence is still high, after all they - the USA - are the best in the world, but hopefully we will bounce back well in our game with China tomorrow and finish in the top five or six.
FIBA: What about coming here to face off against some of the best teams in the World?
Hill: It's definitely good, where we come from we're a bit isolated so we don't get to play world class basketball every single day.
Unfortunately our time together as a team has been extremely limited and we have to travel huge distances just to get together for training camp.
So this has been an eye-opening experience, one that I will take back home with me, and I'll go back to work on my game like I am sure all of the rest of the boys will.
FIBA: You guys having some fun?
We have had a lot of fun. It has been an amazing experience, one that I will cherish.
Hill: What do you get up to then in terms of fun?
A lot of relaxing, and then of course we keep the spirit up with the occasional practical joke and stuff like that.
FIBA: What kind of practical jokes; what is the best one that anyone has come up with all week?
Hill: When we went into the city (Daniel smiles) there was a hens' night and the ladies they sold us ...[an object that FIBA does not wish to name but that made Daniel blush and that can be found in the shops of Hamburg's infamous Reeperbahn street], brought it back to the hotel room, smuggled it into the coaches room and took a few pictures. That was among the best ones.
FIBA: What are your plans beyond this tournament?
Hill: Hopefully play for Australia again, continue to wear the green and gold. I also aspire to play collage basketball in the USA.
With that the interview draws to an end. Hill walks off to join his team-mates and most likely plotting the next chapter of Aussie mischief.