TRARALGON, Australia – After a successful season playing professional basketball in Northern Ireland, former Saint Joseph's women's basketball standout Amanda Fioravanti has recently joined Latrobe City Energy competing in the Big V in Australia. Recently named to the Rolling Team of the Week, Fioravanti spent some time with SJUHawks.com sharing her experience playing professionally.
What was the process like finding your current team?
My current team had reached out to my agent about me playing for them. My agent then talked to me about if I would be interested, and I said absolutely! After that, my agent put me in contact with the team. I talked to the coach a lot to see if I would fit in with the systems and team. I liked the coach a lot and it seemed like a perfect fit for me.
How has the adjustment to life in Australia been so far off the court?
I've only been here for about two weeks now, but it's been amazing! I am living with my coach's family on their farm. Life is similar to America in some ways- except driving since everything is opposite. Instead of watching for deer on the road, I have to watch out for kangaroos! My coach told everyone to get off the road when I got on it, which is probably a good idea! My coach's family has been great! They have taken me to see so much in so little time!
How has the adjustment to life in Australia been so far on the court?
On the court it's been great as well! My teammates welcomed me with open arms. They are so much fun to play with. My team consists of mostly young players, but they do have players my age as well, and everyone meshes well together.
What is the game/competition like in Australia compared to college/Ireland?
The game is similar to America. The competition level out here is great. There are some big girls out here!
What was your experience like in Northern Ireland?
My experience was great! I played on a team called the Belfast Phoenix Rockets. My teammates' ages ranged from 16-30. We made it all the way to semifinals and then lost by six to a really good team. Along with playing, I also coached a U-16 and U-18 basketball team. Ireland was absolutely beautiful!!
Are there any memorable moments that stick out from the past year playing in Northern Ireland?
The most memorable moment playing was probably the first game I played. I had previously played in Italy with SJU and knew there were some changes with calls the refs made. But during my first game, a girl and I were fighting for the ball- I was yelling "timeout" because we can do that in America -in Ireland only coaches are allowed to call the timeouts. I had to get used to all of that.
What experiences have you relied upon from playing at SJU to now playing professionally?
I think the biggest thing I've taken with me is adapting to change quickly. When you're in a different country, it's obviously very different. You're living with people you don't know, playing with people you don't know, and you learn to adapt. You have to embrace other cultures. It's a lot of fun!
What are your expectations for the current season?
Since I got here in the middle of the season, my goal is to just get this team back on track! My team is super talented, but young. The girls are so eager to learn. We just had a huge win this past weekend!