Leaders of the court

Smithton Basketball Club players Sophie Furphy, 15, Jett Grey, 15 and Emerson Wells, 15, will represent the state at the Australian Junior Championships next week. Picture: Ashleigh Force.

Representatives. Smithton Basketball Club players Jett Grey, Emerson Wells and Sophie Furphy will lead the Under 16 Tasmanian squads at the Australian Junior Championships next week. 

The locals will compete at the annual carnival to be held on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland this year. 

Round one will kick off tomorrow (Friday July 6) as the Tassie teams meet with their mainland counterparts throughout the competition. 

Making a debut in the Under 14 competition, this will be Jett and Emerson’s fourth national appearance while Furphy will compete for the third time. 

“I think I’ve improved in all areas,” says Jett looking back on his first national game. 

“I’ve improved in confidence, I feel good playing at that level now.” 

Named as vice captain of the side, the 15-year-old said he hopes to provide guidance and leadership to his team, both on and off the court.

Emerson, 15, who was also named as vice captain, says she is motivated by the new opportunity to perform. 

“It will be exciting to go away as a vice captain,” she says. 

“I just want to be a leader, bring confidence to the team and be able to reassure everyone that we’re good.” 

With three Australian Junior Championship performances as well as games in the Country Cup competition, Emerson says she has grown as a player, something Sophie agrees with: “I’ve grown more into my role in the team.” 

Making the side as a reserve, 15-year-old Sophie received the call up last week.

Preparing for round one to launch, the trio say the first game is the most nerve wracking. 

“Over there it is so different, the games are on another level,” says Sophie of the strength of opposition as well as unfamiliar umpiring. “It’s a bigger crowd there too.” 

The players completed three training camps ahead of the carnival and several training sessions in the lead up to the event. 

To keep up to date with Australian Junior Championship results, visit www.basketball.net.au/championships/u16s-australian-junior-championship.

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