National leaders on the court

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Basketball. Smithton Basketball Club players Jett Grey, Emerson Wells and Sophie Furphy have represented the state at the Australian Junior Championships in the Under 16 division. 

Competing on the national stage for a fourth time, Emerson and Jett stepped up to represent the teams as vice captains while Sophie made her third national appearance. 

The annual carnival was this year held on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland where the Tasmanian teams met with their state and territory counterparts.  

Recording three victories from six rostered games, the boys’ side competed competitively throughout the carnival to continue through the Quarter Final, Semi Final and win the play-off game against Queensland South, 61 to 64. 

“We got more comfortable throughout the competition and started playing the way we usually do once we got on a roll and we started winning,” Jett says. “It was all great fun.” 

As a leader, Jett set an example for his teammates: “My coach said that I needed to put up good numbers everywhere on the stat line and then keep everyone up and about and having a good time.” 

Proud to have played that role within the team, he continues to strive as a leader both on and off the court. 

Playing through five rostered games, the girls were unable to finish with a victory although came close against Western Australia Country in the final match, 46 to 44. 

The side played a competitive Quarter Final match against South Australia Country, 52 to 49, before defeating Australian Capital Territory in the Semi Final, 71 to 43.

Of the experience, Emerson said playing at an elite level was a highlight. 

“The atmosphere in all our games,” she says. 

“And going into overtime with New South Wales Country [in game two],” where the side was defeated 70 to 59. 

As a vice captain, Emerson said her job was to motivate her teammates: “I had to be a leader and a role model both on and off court,” she says, “and to always make an impact and to motivate [players] along the way.” 

The trio has strong goals for the coming seasons, each with plans to represent the state next year in the Under 18 division. 

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