Basketballer on the move as she rides rising career

WHEELCHAIR basketballer Naomi Schouten will make the move to Brisbane next month as she seeks to continue her meteoric rise which will see her represent Australia in Canada next month. Schouten, who grew up in Gladstone before moving to Rockhampton in recent years to pursue her studies, will head to the capital to train with Mick Tarrant, the man responsible for guiding the career of Australian Paralympian Alison Mosely.

Schouten's major career goal is to replicate the efforts of Mosely, her role model, and don the Australian colours for the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.

Despite having only taken up the sport 18 months ago, she is already well on her way, having gained selection in the Australian Gliders side to contest the Spitfire Challenge in Canada in July and August.

Australia will meet Germany and Canada once each before the three international squads split into two teams each and contest a round robin event.

The 20-year-old is thrilled with her progress, despite having to spend long hours training by herself and also having to find room for her university studies, and is excited at the prospect of touring with the national side.

"It's a great honour to be invited to play for my country,' Schouten said.

'I've only been playing for 18 months, so to be where I am in such a short time is a little overwhelming. "It's a lot of work, but if you put your heart into it, eventually you will get there.

"I'm one step closer now to my dream of playing in the Beijing Paralympics in 2008.'

Prior to the tour, Schouten will line up for the Queensland Storm in the third round of the National Women's Wheelchair Basketball League competition in Brisbane on July 9-10.

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