Aussie in the Paint

story by: Kylee Luce

Shortly after the 2016-17 school year started, Jeffersonville girls head basketball coach Mike Warren received some unexpected, but very exciting news: a 6´0 foreign exchange student- athlete from Australia would be coming to Jeff High and was joining his basketball program.

“Typically transfers don’t come along too often, especially transfers that know how to play basketball, so I was very happy,” Warren said.

Britney Epperson transferred as a junior this year to Jeff High, looking forward to becoming a part of the Red Devil community and girls’ basketball program.

As for the team, the girls were thrilled when they heard the news about their new Australian teammate.

“My reaction when I found out Britney was going to be on the team was, ‘that’s awesome.’ I’ve always wanted to know someone from Australia, and I’m really glad we will have a solid post player now,” said starting sophomore Chelsea Gibson.

Epperson’s main reason for traveling to America is because her older brother received a scholarship to La Lumiere School, a prep school in La Porte, Ind.

“Everyone in my family plays basketball, except my little sister,” Epperson said.

In order for Epperson to be able to go to school and keep her basketball eligibility, she had to leave Australia by Sept. 27. Fortunately for the Lady Devils, Epperson’s aunt and uncle live in Jeffersonville, which explains how she landed at JHS of all places.

However the move wasn’t an easy one. The first week or so in America was a little rocky and very exhausting for Britney.

“I had trouble sleeping. I would wake up at two in the morning and not go to sleep until six, and then sleep all day that took me a very long time to fix,” Epperson said. “That first week, I was exhausted. I was a bear — you couldn’t talk to me. It was awful, but other than that it has been wonderful.”

The coaching staff says Britney is a great fit to what they’re building for the upcoming season. Epperson is a hard worker and has adjusted very well to coach Warren’s high level and high speed practices. Epperson is very coachable and all the coaches love her.

“She will be a big part of our success going forward,” Warren said. “She has a great attitude, she is a hard worker, she’s a really great teammate and good communicator. So all the things we ask out of our kids she possesses those things already. So it’s made the transition for her much easier.”

All Epperson’s teammates love her so far, and are delighted she’s a part of the girls’ basketball program.

“She is so fun in and out of practice,” said sophomore Mariea Franklin. “They say she’s like the team mom.”

The feelings are mutual from Britney Epperson.

“Everything is going pretty good; I really like it,” Epperson said. “The girls are really good and have been so welcoming and I love my coaches. They are very supportive.”

Britney had to sit out for the season opener, but she is now eligible and played in their last game against Madison, where the Devils won 50-15. Epperson had four pts and two rebounds. She is hoping to learn from these games and start pulling out even more wins as the season progresses.

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