Young talent takes on tournament

(Back from left) Toby Reeve, Ryan Nibbs, Jett Grey, (front) Emerson Wells, Sienna Thorp and Sophie Furphy are in training for the 2016 Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup held in Albury, New South Wales in January. Picture: Ashleigh Force. 

Juniors. Six local basketballers have proven they are among the state’s best, joining other players in competing at the 2016 Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup.

Toby Reeve, Ryan Nibbs, Jett Grey, Sophie Furphy, Emerson Wells and Sienna Thorp will travel to Albury, New South Wales in January to compete in the annual tournament.

Local Seniors talent Alisha Barry said the opportunity would be an eye-opener for the juniors and a valuable experience.

“It gives them more of a realisation of the talent in Australia and what level they need to be at to beat them,” she said.

“It’s a major learning opportunity.”

The local juniors will come up against fierce competition on the court, particularly as temperatures are expected to soar well above Tasmania’s average.

“Last year they averaged 26 degrees,” Barry said. “The year before it was 40 degrees!”

But this prospect isn’t dampening the players’ spirits as they look forward to representing their state and taking part in the tournament for the first time.

Now in its 29th year, the competition has grown immensely since its inception. More than 64 teams and 700 players, coaches and officials will partake next year.

Having met their fellow teammates at try-outs and training sessions in Launceston throughout the year, the local budding sports stars are feeling confident and excited for the new experience.

They will travel to Albury in early January for a final team training session at the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre before commencing the tournament on Saturday January 9.

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