Gladstone five to chase state selection in Townsville
BASKETBALL: Five players will lay it all on the court during the weekend's under-16 Queensland North state trials in Townsville.
Erin Harvey, Albert Maunga, Ben Knight, Josh Morfey and Seth Collins are as good a chance as any to make the state team that will play in the Australian Under-16 Junior Championships in Darwin, July 6-13.
The quartet starred in the recent Central District Carnival and will all vie for spots in the final Queensland North teams with their Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns counterparts.
"Lots of training with a variety of coaches and hard work," Erin said of what had made her improve in the past 12 months.
Her strengths are her scoring and ability to outmanoeuvre her opponents on the way to the rim.
Erin believes that, along with her ability to shoot from the perimeter, puts her in good stead, but selection or not, the state trials are a win-win for her.
"The high-level coaching and intense training will improve how I play and also the experience as I am only bottom age," she said.
"I don't a specific player, but I like watching the point guards in the WNBL and WNBA and at Port City Power games."
Lots of hard work outside of training commitments is what has made Albert improve.
The point guard-cum-number two said the chance of selection was 50-50 at best given the talent in North Queensland.
"I intend to just play my hardest, do my best and hope it works out in my favour," he said.
He studies the best players with intent, but stopped short to name anyone in particular.
"I don't have one specific person that I look up to because they are all great players in their own ways; I just strive to be the best player I know I can be," he said.
Ben plays with aggression and he attributes that to when he plays in the men's competition and his brothers.
"The tougher the competition and the harder they play the more you learn," he said.
"I am lucky I have two older brothers (Mitch and Luke) that I have always played against which has really pushed me."
Ben looks to get more tips from the big boys.
"My favourite player this year so far is Nash (Steve) because he's so fast and can shoot the lights out and I can't wait to watch Our Power team play this season," he said.
Seth also had a stellar CDC and can shut down the opposition guards or small forwards.
He has worked hard under coach Ray Cooper and in occasional one-on-one sessions.
"I like watching Rocky's Ben Tweedy and how he uses his footwork in the paint," he said.
Seth said he would treat the Townsville experience to his advantage.
"I really just want to take it as another training session with high intensity and working on some new things," he said.
He said his improvement has come from when he played in senior competitions.
"The improvement has probably come from the men's basketball which has helped me gain confidence driving and being aggressive against a taller player and also being smarter," Seth said.