Former Lucindale girl breaks into US basketball scene

EX-LUCINDALE girl and now American college basketballer Tayla Corrigan continues to make great strides in her basketball career.

The 21-year-old had been playing with Mineral Area College in the United States but has now signed with the University of Idaho Vandals, who play in division one of the National College Athletic Association.

Corrigan comes to the University of Idaho with a great deal of expectation from the coaching staff.

Lucindale expat and now American college basketballer Tayla Corrigan (second from right) helps Glenn Mathieson with school basketball clinics last week, giving children such as Will McInnes and Annie Williams, at Naracoorte Primary School, some tips on playing the game.

Lucindale expat and now American college basketballer Tayla Corrigan (second from right) helps Glenn Mathieson with school basketball clinics last week, giving children such as Will McInnes and Annie Williams, at Naracoorte Primary School, some tips on playing the game.

"Tayla is a great sign for us," University of Idaho head coach Jon Newlee stated. "She is extremely long and runs the floor very well. She has excellent range on her jump shot and good offensive skills down on the block. Tayla is going to be a defensive presence for us as well. She will be able to use her length to alter and block shots in the paint. I cannot wait to coach Tayla and have her join our Vandal family."

Corrigan starts at the college in mid-August and gets straight into pre-season training before the American college basketball season starts in November.

"I love it; it's great fun," she said about her career on the court overseas.

"It's a lot different to basketball here, a lot harder, stronger and a lot faster."

Three other Australian girls have been signed by the Vandals - all from Melbourne.

Corrigan has two years at the university before hoping to make it into the Women's National Basketball Association or the European League.

"I want to keep travelling," she said.

During her time back in Australia, Corrigan helped local basketball coach Glenn Mathieson with some school clinics.

"I love teaching these kids," she said. "Helping 'Matho' is good. I did a lot of work with him as a kid - mostly Wednesday nights.

Mathieson said it was good to have Corrigan back, and spoke highly of her progress.

"I do all the work and she gets all the travel," he joked. "It's been a good opportunity for her, but at the end of the day she was the one who had to take it."

Mathieson paid tribute to Corrigan's family, who helped her career by taking her to training in Adelaide and various carnivals, along with others in similar situations. "They sacrifice a fair bit," he said.

-  Former Naracoorte basketballer Luke Van Rijn is also making it big in the United States, signing with NCAA division two university Mars Hill (North Carolina).

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