8 February 2018
Former Maribyrnong Sports Academy students Oscar Berry (AFL & Basketball) and Jack Bytel (AFL) recently crossed paths at the IMG Academy in Florida while Jack was there on a week-long AFL Camp.
Jack is a member of the AFL Academy squad that was on-site at IMG Academy for a high performance training camp back in January. Oscar left MSA in mid-2017 to attend the IMG Academy to pursue his dream of playing college basketball.
The pair caught up a number times during the week when their busy schedules allowed. Jack and the AFL boys attracted their share of attention according to Oscar, "Over here everyone wears the basketball style shorts. The AFL boys copped a fair bit in the cafeteria with their AFL short-shorts! The American kids thought it was a hilarious".
The IMG Academy has evolved from the famous Nick Bolletieri Tennis Academy and now sits on 500 acres of pristine campus that supports 1100 student-athletes across eight sports. Side note: Nick is still on campus most days and always has a positive word for the student-athletes.
Jack is looking for a strong year with the Calder Cannons in the TAC Cup to bolster his already strong draft prospects. Oscar was also in the AFL pathway with the Western Jets and it was a tough decision for him to leave the Australian game behind. He is now in the middle of the basketball season with IMG Academy's Junior National Team (Sophomores) and has his sights firmly set on the National Varsity Team for next season.
Being in a place like the IMG Academy you are sure to run into some very famous people and Oscar says that’s nearly a weekly occurrence at the Florida based Academy. "There is always something happening here at IMG Academy, whether it's rubbing shoulders with visiting teams like the AFL Academy, the Rangers FC from Glasgow or the NFL Oakland Raiders, to seeing sporting legends on campus like Wayne Gretsky, or heading up the road to Orlando to see the NBA".
"Just the other day, the Head football coach from the University of Florida landed on campus in a helicopter".
Oscar says he is looking forward to having a kick with the "Marby Boys" when he is back home for Summer break in June.
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