BASKETBALL: Last weekend Ben Harvey was orchestrating offensive tactics at the Central District Carnival in Hervey Bay for Gladstone Power's under-18 side.
But now Ben is in Melbourne where he is one of five from Central Queensland as part of the Zebra Tour as a referee.
Pauline Kelly has played a big role in Ben's and his mates' development and she is also the Gladstone Amateur Basketball Association referee co-ordinator and referee coach for GABA, Central Queensland, QBL and state championships.
"Ben has worked extremely hard over this past two years to gain selection where he attended two state championships and being awarded a medal at the U14 championships earlier this year," Kelly said.
"Ben also attended the 2017 University Games held in Rockhampton."
Bundaberg's Lauren Drabwell and Sepi Mahjoub, under the guidance of Terry Doherty, along with Rockhampton representatives Adam Morrow and Kyle Zulian, are the others in the elite umpire program.
Appointment to the Zebra Tour is a big recognition of their achievements through education and attendance at all the CDC's and the referee coaching they have received," Kelly said.
"These referees are great examples and role models for our Central Queensland junior development program."
"This year, Basketball Australia have advised us that the Zebra Tour should now be seen as the first step in the Australian Junior Championships pathway."
Kelly also said they are in contention for attendance at an Under 14 National Club Championship in 2018 or 2019.
"These referees would be those who are association representative, or in some rare instances, association advanced referees at present," Kelly said.
"This is a tremendous feat to be selected to represent your state and especially from Central Queensland."