Representatives. Ryan Nibbs, Jett Grey and Emerson Wells have shown their skill in the North West Basketball Union and are now making an impact at a national level.
The Smithton Basketball Club players have done their club proud in their selection to compete at the Australian Junior Basketball Championships.
Following a promising performance in Kilsyth, Victoria last year with Tasmania’s Under 16s, Ryan stepped up to the Under 18s this year to play in Townsville, Queensland in April.
The 16-year-old said the senior competition was undoubtedly more advanced and presented a fresh challenge.
“I think it’s good to experience something different from what you normally play against,” he said.
“The team worked really well together. It was a little bit different from last year, it was definitely harder with bigger boys in the Under 18s.”
The Tasmanian team secured a 41 point victory over Northern Territory in their first clash, 101 to 60, followed by 78 to 43 win against South Australia Metro in round two. Round three saw Tasmania gain a narrow win over Western Australia Country, 69 to 63, before their first loss against New South Wales Country, 60 to 63. Round four saw another loss, this time to Queensland North, 73 to 86 before a four point win in round five over Victoria Country, 64 to 60, to finish the competition third on the ladder.
Competing in Newcastle, New South Wales last year with the Under 14s, Jett said his debut at national competition had prepared him for what lies ahead.
Jett and Emerson will travel to Sterling, Western Australia from Saturday July 8 to 15 with Tasmania’s Under 16 squads.
“The players will be a lot bigger and faster than last year,” Jett predicts.
“I think there will be a lot more talent and they’ll be harder to play against.”
Training hard in preparation, the 14-year-old is looking forward to playing in the company of the nation’s best.
“I just want to work hard in all areas of my game and try to develop as a basketball player, have a good time and experience with this new group of players.”
Also having competed in Maitland, New South Wales
Having competed in Maitland, New South Wales last year with the Under 14s then a performance in Albury, New South Wales at the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup alongside Jett and Ryan earlier this year, Emerson has worked hard to get to where she is, even spending her entire birthday on the court training.
The 14-year-old says she has focused on hitting her outside shots in preparation for the upcoming championship and to beat her taller opponents.
“The girls we’ll play against will be a year older, bigger and stronger. They’ll all be taller, I’ll be [considered] small over there,” she says.
“It will be a different experience, a lot tougher.”
Determined to make an impact on the court, Emerson said she hopes to gain a more advanced skillset to prepare her for her next goals.