Taylor Stibbe admits her first US college basketball season has been a huge learning curve, but knows it will hold her in good stead for the rest of her years in the sport.

The 19-year-old former BSSC student is back home for a few months following her freshman season with the College of Southern Idaho Golden Eagles, certain she has developed as both a player and person.

Stibbe, a former swimmer, who took up basketball in her early teens, said it was a season of highs with a few lows thrown in for good measure.

“The first season was mostly good, but a little disappointing,” she said.

“We were good in the regular season and got to the grand final in the regionals, but lost to Salt Lake (Community College).

“They had another Australian in the team Tia Hay, who is from Melbourne. I got to play against her, which was pretty cool, but we lost, which meant we didn’t get to go to nationals.

“They’re definitely a rival of ours and have always been a good match for us, but it was a good season overall and I learned so much.”

Signing with Southern Idaho, which is based in Twin Falls, about three hours north-west of Salt Lake City in Utah, had never been a guarantee for Stibbe last year.

Interest in the former Bendigo Braves junior was expressed by several schools, most notably a NCAA division two college in West Virginia.

“But then I got an email from coach (Randy) Rogers and the college saying they had a full scholarship for me and it was for two years and not four, which really appealed,” Stibbe said.

“And they were prepared to pay for my flights as well, which was another bonus.”

Stibbe, who is majoring in criminal justice while studying at Southern Idaho, averaged 2.3 points and 1.3 rebounds in 23 games in her freshman season, with her season-high of seven-points coming against Western Wyoming in the third game of the season.

The 186cm centre will head back to US for her second season in August, and at this stage has not ruled out returning for a third or even fourth.

“If I get an offer to stay, I’ll definitely look into it,” Stibbe said.

“Other than that I would definitely come back and continue playing in Bendigo and see where I end up from there.”

Stibbe, who attended tryouts for the WNBL’s Bendigo Spirit development squad in 2015, has not missed a chance to continue working on her game while on college vacation.

The former Victorian Australian Junior Country Basketball Cup representative has played four games with the Braves’ Big V championship youth women’s team, which is second on the ladder in its conference with nine wins and six losses.

Given the timing of her US and Australian seasons, Stibbe’s stay in Bendigo will effectively be her third-consecutive winter.

“The winter that is coming up here, of course, will be a little bit milder compared to the one I just went through with a bit of snow,” she said.

“But we’ll deal with it as it comes.

“I’ll get back for about a month of good weather, which will be good.

“I’m really looking forward to the season, we have a lot of good returning players and all but one of our (2017-18) freshmen is returning.

“Then we have another girl as tall as me coming in to help out in the posts and some quick guards, so it’s shaping up as a good team.”