Not many high school or college athletes get the chance to play overseas, yet one Northwest senior will be able to share the experience. Daija Black, a 5-foot-8 guard for the Lady Jaguars girls’ basketball team, was chosen by Down Under Sports to represent Maryland and the nation as a member of the East Conference Girls’ Basketball Team.
“I found out that I got the opportunity to play in Australia when I received a letter and a certificate of accomplishment, along with the invitation,” said Black.
Black will be among the estimated 60 girls from all around the United States, 27 from Maryland that will participate on team which will play teams from New Zealand and Australia in a tournament with an Olympic style format with competition for gold, silver, and bronze medals. Each team is scheduled to play a minimum of 10 games during the trip.
The trip is scheduled for July 11 through July 22 in Australia and Hawaii, however the trip is not all expenses paid, and the senior is looking for help from the community to offset some of the $8,000 cost of the trip. “I am asking for donations from family, business, and friends,” said Black. She is also selling t- shirts and working with Down Under Sports to fundraising to help raise the funds.
Her father, Tyrone Davis, said he wants to send Daija on this because he has watched her grow and mature through playing basketball and this would be a great experience. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to go on a trip like this. Daija has put the hard work in on the court and in the class room. So for Down Under Sports to select Daija as one of 27 girls in the state of Maryland's to participate on an international level, I didn't give it a second thought,” said Davis.
He admits that he, and his wife, are both a little nervous about the prospect of their daughter travelling to the other side of the world. “However, we believe we have raised her with great values, the respect for people and their culture's, and how to carry herself beyond reproach. I know she will represent Maryland, Montgomery County, and Northwest High School in a manner that does them justice.”
Down Under Sports also selects athletes to compete in boys’ basketball, cross country, football, golf, track and field, volleyball and wrestling, with tournaments in Australia and Hawaii.
Black has already started raising money for her trip, and she’s looking for more sponsors. Anyone interested in helping Daija Black along this journey to Australia is asked to check out the Sponsorship Letter.
Top: Northwest’s Diaja Black (3) is hoping to play basketball in Australia this summer as part of the Down Under Sports program.
Next: As a senior at Northwest, Diaja Black (3) was a leader on this year’s girls basketball team.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.