Players show leadership qualities in basketball trials
BASKETBALL: It's a win-win scenario.
For six Gladstone under-16 players, a trip to Darwin or the US could be a possibility because they have been chosen in the 2019 Under-16 North State Performance Program.
Joshua Morfey, Seth Collins, Ben Knight, Albert Maunga, Erin Harvey and Jordan Porter are part of a 30-strong Queensland North contingent.
The squad will be split into two groups of 10 - one that will join the Queensland North team that will play at the Australian Junior Championships in Darwin in July.
The other 10 will be off to the US on a Basketball Queensland 2017 Emerging Tour mid-next year.
Joshua, who missed the key state trials in Rockhampton earlier this month due to injury, said it was a shock to be selected.
"It's a great thing and I'm really excited and quite surprised because I've been injured where I tore a ligament in my ankle and bruised bones," he said.
"I will get the moon boot off in a few weeks in January."
Coach Ray Cooper and Queensland North under-16 coach Brady Walmsley have fast-tracked Joshua's development, where he identified main areas of his game that have improved.
"Probably with controlling the ball and being able to use my left hand where Ray and Brady have helped me, as well as Ash (Wilmot) in under-14 and under-12," he said.
Teammate Seth said practising at home had helped his case.
The 14-year-old had a break-out Central District Carnival in Bundaberg last month and was also impressive at the recent trials.
"I wanted to make the state team this year and so I had to bump up my confidence," Seth said.
Erin starred in the CDC in Bundy and also won the women's league's Most Valuable Player award.
"I put effort in at the state trials and was hoping I would make it," she said.
"Ray and Tyler (Allen) have helped me out and I have also trained with a few of the boys."
Walmsley stopped short in singling out those who had impressed him at the trials.
"For any athlete to be selected in the top 30 players across North and Central Queensland, they require a suitable skill package to perform at the level," he said.
"But in many ways, I was most impressed with their intent to execute instructions in a meaningful way.
"All of those players had a positive impact on the professionalism of the training environment, which is unique to see out of 14 and 15 year olds."
And to make the next step, Walmsley will look for more standout efforts.
"We are looking to select players with an outstanding attitude, a competitive drive and a point of difference skill that is translatable at the next level," he said.