The Border has for the first time welcomed players from Fiji as part of the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup.
The Fijian team, made up of under-18 boys and girls sides, were greeted by players and spectators at the Cup's opening ceremony at the Wodonga Sports and Leisure Centre on Monday.
Fijian team organiser Alex Fong said the nation's inclusion in the annual Border event had been a long time in the making, marking the first time overseas for many of the team's young players.
However, Fong admitted their arrival didn't come without some challenges.
"The invite came through and it was a bit difficult in the sense that we needed to finance the whole tour ourselves," Fong said.
"There was some hiccups along the way, but the parents all came out and decided they'd pay to get the kids here.
"For about 80 percent of the boys and girls it's their first time overseas and I think it'll be an eye opener for them.
"We play tournaments over there but not to this magnitude, we see it as being good development for them.
"We're very grateful to the organisers, Basketball Victoria Country, FIBA and our sponsors, without them we wouldn't have our guernseys."
With news of the region's bushfires reaching the Fijian team, Fong said they were unsure if their Country Cup debut was going to happen.
"We were in communication with the organisers throughout until the last day when we were supposed to board," Fong said.
"We were guided by them, at the same time with parents consent, because it was a major concern.
"We were also mindful that the organisers knew what they were doing and we were very comfortable."
The Fijian team joins players from New Zealand, Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania, South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory who are all taking part in the tournament this week.
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Fong hopes it's the start of a long partnership with the event.
"Hopefully if this plays out it will open the door for younger guys coming up," Fong said.
"It'll be something great for the country and great for basketball."
The New Zealand team performed the haka, while John Martin paid tribute to the late Max Brisbane who helped start the tournament back in 1986, with wife Heather attending the ceremony.
"I'm sure if Max was here he'd be so proud," Brisbane said.
"It's not about winning but developing young players.
"From the concept in the beginning to what it is now, it's quite amazing.
"Seeing the teams from Fiji here, that's really great."