'BALL TIME: Tibah O'Brien, Ben Murdoch, Luke Knight, Jack Small, Thasindu Chandrasekara and Emily Lymbery have been selected in the State Performance Program for North Queensland.
'BALL TIME: Tibah O'Brien, Ben Murdoch, Luke Knight, Jack Small, Thasindu Chandrasekara and Emily Lymbery have been selected in the State Performance Program for North Queensland. Matt Taylor GLA041118BALL

LISTEN: What a choice! US trip or national champs?

BASKETBALL: Half a dozen of Gladstone's finest have been selected in the elite State Performance Program in the North Queensland under-18 squads.

Emily Lymbery is in the 20-strong female squad while Tibah O'Brien, Thasindu Chandrasekara, Luke Knight, Ben Murdoch and Jack Small have made the 30-man squad.

"It's a great opportunity and will be a great experience to go further in the sport," Lymbery said.

Her development has been fast-tracked with some game-time in the Queensland Basketball League for Gladstone Port City Power Central Apartment Breakers.

"We went to trials in Rockhampton and from there, 20 girls were chosen and then from that 20, they will split these into two teams."

Ten young women will go to the US in the Queensland Emerging team while the other 10 will compete in the nationals for Queensland next year.

For Lymbery, it's a win, win situation.

"Personally, I've never been in any of them, so I'd like to be in the nationals team, but I'd be happy in the team that would go to America," she said.

Rangy Ben Murdoch, who has been in stellar form during the two Central District Carnival campaigns for Gladstone's U18s, said while a trip to the States would be great, playing other states was his preference.

"All in all, it will be a good experience with lots of exposure from it and good coaching.

He said his own development was work off the court.

"Personally I've been working really hard training in the gym as much as I can, working on defence a lot because that's probably my biggest weakness and all shooting, vision and that sort of stuff as well," Murdoch said.

"It's all coming and putting it all together now."

Knight said either a trip to the US or to make the state team will make him an even better player.

The forward-centre has been in ripping form with his aggressive rebounds and ability to finish under the rim.

CDC U18 coach Ray Cooper has helped push Knight to play at a high level.

"Pushing me and making me better as a team player and I reckon where I improved most on was crashing the rebounds, boxing out and be there for my teammates when needed," Knight said.

Older brother Mitch, who has been in the QBL Power system for a number of years, has helped out as well.

"I do some training with him and he pushes me and I just push back to stand my ground," the younger brother said.