Scouting American Giants for Aussie Rules Football

(rhythmic electric music) – [Voiceover] When you see
the players get the ball in their hand for the first
time it’s a cross between intrigue and excitement. It’s great to see ’em try and
bounce the ball and to see it actually bounce away. It can make the best of people
look really, really silly. (wild cheering) – [Voiceover] The #1 sport in Australia is Australian Rules Football. It’s basically a cross
between rugby and soccer. And the fans go crazy for it. There’s one problem. They don’t have enough tall people. So what do they do? They come to the States. – This combines the US AFL
Combine and we started this four years ago. Basically in a search for
guys six-foot-seven and above. – [Voiceover] And these
tall American athletes, they don’t really need to
know a lot about Australia. – It’s a home of the kangaroos, I think. – I know it’s a lotta kangaroos. – I hear a lot about kangaroos
and spiders and snakes. – [Michael] In selecting these
athletes we predominantly look for guys that are hungry. Most of the participants
predominantly come from basketball. The concept of basketball in
terms of the athlete being in traffic and having spatial
awareness and those sorts of things is really
transferable to our game. – [Voiceover] Which is good
news because less than two percent of college basketball players
will make it to the pros. The Australian Football League
gives them another chance to live out their dreams
of being a pro athlete. – [Michael] Most of the
participants are quite shocked when they see the game for the first time. – [Voiceover] The question
is, what do the athletes think of all this? – When I got to come on invite I thought it was fake, actually. I thought it was a scam. – First thing I thought,
I thought it was a scam. – I thought they was contacting
the wrong person, actually. – What is Australian Football? – [Voiceover] Skepticism aside,
how do you teach these guys a game they never even heard of before? – [Michael] So the Combine
kicks off in the early piece with a physical testing,
and then start to building to the skills, the basics
of hand-balling, the ability to see what they’re like with their hands. Then we can start to get into
the more competitive stuff where they might crash and
bash into each other which, they love that. (roaring crowd) – [Voiceover] This is Mason Cox. He played basketball at Oklahoma State. Two years ago, he was just
like one of these guys on the Combine. Now, he’s playing
professionally in Australia. – [Michael] They can be
one of the 22 superstars out there on an AFL team. It’s a fantastic opportunity
for these guys to continue their professional career.

37 thoughts on “Scouting American Giants for Aussie Rules Football

  1. I guess this is a good way for them to stay active until they get a call from an NBA or NFL team. But why don't these college basketball athletes just play in the NBA D-league?

  2. All these Americans and immigrants need to stay out of Aussie rules and AFL, and what are you talking about there's plenty of tall players in the AFL and meany tall draft picks as well.

  3. I don't like immigrants playing Australian Footy, Majak Daw is as far as I would go because he actually came from a struggling Sudanese family battling with the civil war crisis and for Afl to give him an opportunity like that is quite selfless. But these American basketball rejects aren't going to be very good for the AFL community.

  4. The "cross between Rugby and Soccer" idea is just stupid and lazy. It is certainly related to Rugby, but the Rugby played in the 1840s at Rugby School, not modern Rugby. It has absolutely no connection with Soccer or any resemblance to it, as watching two minutes of play would show. The game was invented in 1858, by an Australian who had been educated at Rugby School in England, where he had been captain of both football and cricket. He wanted a game to help cricket players in Australia keep fit over the winter. The deep connection with cricket explains why the game is played on large oval grounds. He wanted a fast open game without the dangerous pile-ups of bodies and "hacking" (deliberately kicking opponents legs). He preserved what he saw as the best features of Rugby, the mark (catch, resulting in a free kick) and the long drop kick (now evolved into the drop punt), running with the ball (but only for limited distances) and rapid hand-passing (but not by throwing).

  5. Eh, I don’t really think Americans should do AFL as they have NBA, totally down with people from different races playing AFL if they’re born here though.

  6. Awesome to see this taking place. It's a win for the would be NBA stars who get a shot at pro-AFL and a win for the AFL in securing tall timber.

  7. I


  8. Great video! really enjoyed this. I really am looking forward to Australian Football growing on a global scale and seeing more diversity within our game.

  9. Athletic 6 foot American football players have 38 to 42 inch vertical jumps. Higher than any Aussie. Dont need tall players.

  10. Most of these guys will never be as good as Aussie players who’ve been playing footy since age 7 or there about. And by the time they are, they’ll be too old. There’s more to AFL than crashing into people and jumping high in the vacuum of a training room. Reading the play and the flow of the game, not to mention the kicking and hand balling accuracy required at AFL level are things that take years of practice to hone, by guys who have been immersed in playing and living footy culture their whole lives. It’s not just something you pick up a few weeks after you watch you first match on a YouTube video. You don’t go from never knowing a sport existed to game-day starter by getting a crash course, especially when they’re already over 18, which is the age an average rookie gets drafted. The playing standard at AFL level is astonishing. Plenty of young talent here get turned away at a try out for not being good enough, and they spend all their teenage years training for that opportunity, only to not make the cut.

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