Tibah's ready to make a BIG impact for the Gladstone Power
BASKETBALL: Sometimes sacrifices have to be made and these include much travel.
From Victoria to Bunderberg, Childers and now Gladstone - new Gladstone under-18 gun 6ft 8 centre Tibah O'Brien has slotted nicely in his new team.
He will be in action with the Ray Cooper-coach Gladstone Port City Power's youth team in today's day one of the second round Central District Carnival at Kev Broome Stadium.
So why the switch from Bundy to Gladstone?
"I came to Gladstone because I felt like I needed a coach who will push me and get the best out of me and I knew that was coach Ray Cooper," he said.
"I also felt Gladstone was the best team to play as they had a hard working culture."
Tibah recalled his first representative experience down south.
"A coach by the name of Steve Brown came up to me after a game and asked me to try out for my first rep team the Sandringham Sabres," he said.
"After playing basketball at a rep level for a couple of years I made the Victoria Metro team and went and played at the Southern Cross Championships in Melbourne and this happened again the year after."
Tibah said in those early years he was a 'nervous player' who thought the only reason he got selected was because of his his height and voice.
He had then made the decision to head north to Childers to live with his aunt and uncle.
"I had joined the Bundaberg Bulls as a bottom-aged and played the last CDC of the season and went undefeated," Tibah said.
"We then went down to State Championships at the Sunshine Coast and played in division one where we got absolutely smashed.
Tibah had his doubts at that stage, but Cooper saw something he liked.
"On the way home from State Champs, we got a bit of a surprise when an email came though saying I had made the Queensland North U18 team," he said.
"Honestly, I didn't expect to make it especially because I was bottom-aged.
"The experience of playing down in Geelong under coach Ray was amazing and I learnt a lot from it
"It was also a great for me to say hello to my old rep coach Darren Perry who was coaching the Victoria Metro team."
A much more confident and assertive Tibah will be in action tomorrow against Maryborough (10am) and a 1pm date against Rockhampton.
"Our team looks powerful, but we still have a lot of areas to improve on after the Hervey Bay CDC and I believe each training we have made strides in those areas," Tibah said.
Results can be followed on the QLD Central Districts Carnival website
Gladstone v Maryborough 10am
Gladstone v Rocky 1pm
Gladstone v Emerald 4pm
Gladstone v Hervey Bay 9.30am
Gladstone v Bundaberg 12.30pm