Longmont High graduate Sydney Donaldson had to travel a long way in order to live out his dream of playing high school and college basketball in the United States.
Growing up in England, Donaldson and his family moved to Longmont in the summer of 2008. One reason for the move was so that Donaldson and his siblings could continue their education and play basketball at a higher level.
Seven summers later, Donaldson moved back to England so that he could play for the Derby Trailblazers, accomplishing another lifelong goal of playing basketball at the professional level.
"It has always been a dream of mine to pursue a basketball career after college," Donaldson said. "Just as it was a dream of mine to play high school and college ball in the States. I have to thank God for the opportunity and talents to do so as I'm very thankful that I've been able to live out such dreams."
The Derby Trailblazers play in the National Basketball League Division One. The club, which also runs developmental teams for younger players of all ages, is located just 50 miles from where Donaldson grew up in Coventry, England.
Twice named an All-State player in Colorado, Donaldson averaged 18.6 points per game during the 2009-10 season, his final season at Longmont. He went on to play at Charis Prep in Wilson, NC, and then the College of Idaho, where he played in the second most games in school history and also was a starting midfielder on the men's soccer team.
After he graduated, Donaldson wished to play professionally like his father Robert Donaldson, who played pro ball in England and for the English National Team. So he turned to his father for advice, and also for representation.
"Well, thankfully my dad is representing me as my agent," Donaldson said. "He has 25 years of overseas playing and coaching experience and I knew I could trust him to connect me somewhere in the basketball world. After he sent my information out to a few people, Matt Shaw contacted me early last summer.
"We stayed in touch throughout the summer and as things got more serious I realized that this was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. I arrived in Derby on Tuesday, Oct. 6, and a couple days later I was registered and ready to play in the upcoming weekend's games."
Since joining the team midseason the 6-foot-3, 185-pound Sydney Donaldson has made an immediate impact for the Trailblazers, who were unbeaten in league play and vying for a spot in the Men's National Cup as of Dec. 14. In just his third game with the Trailblazers, he scored a season-high 28 points.