Smithton Boy Jacob Furphy has shown plenty of promise throughout his short career and it is paying dividends already, being named Captain of the Tasmanian Under 16s basketball team before the tournament was cancelled.
Set to take place in Perth, the competition was thrown into jeopardy given the recent COVID-19 spike, with WA slowly shutting its borders to the various states, with teams dropping out like flies.
It was eventually decided to postpone the event, with a new date to hopefully be finalised in the coming fortnight.
Despite his young age Jacob is already hyper committed to his basketball career, travelling up the coast as many as five times a week for training with various sides such as the Burnie Tigers in the North West Basketball Union and all the way through to Launceston for state training.
“Being on the road has just become a reality for us,” mum Alisha Barry said.
“We’re in the car almost every day, it’s not unusual for us to cover hundreds and if not thousands of kilometres a week to get him where he needs to go.”
Jacob says that he has adjusted to the travel and that it doesn’t bother him.
“It’s just up the road now,” he joked.
After starting his career with the Tall Timbers Smithton Saints Jacob was advised that a move to the Tigers would be beneficial, and Jacob says that it has helped him to build valuable connections.
Since shifting he has had the opportunity to train with the North West Thunder, an experience that he values, playing alongside infamous north west pair Reyne Smith and Taran Armstrong, both currently representing Australia for the Emus in Latvia.
“My aim is to eventually play college basketball, so to be training alongside those boys was a good experience,” he said.
Jacob is passionate about his sport and knows everything there is to know about basketball in Tasmania, tracking the movements of key players across the NWBU and the NBL1.
He says that having trained with his teammates for so long has helped him to form some strong relationships, and that he believes that when the tournament eventually goes ahead that they are in with a strong chance.
“I think we have a pretty strong side,” Jacob said.
“We’ve worked really hard, so hopefully we get our chance soon.”
Smithton Saint Nash Walker was also selected to represent Tasmania in the Under 16s but was unfortunately sidelined with an ankle injury.
The train on player was activated and named ahead of the tournament, and though Nash may be ready to return when the tournament eventually goes ahead, it is unclear whether or not he can reclaim his spot.