2.05m teen is keen to meet the big guys in basketball
STEVEN MacDonald's favourite basketballer Kobe Bryant is 7cm shorter than him, 19 years older and made his debut in the NBA before MacDonald was even born, but is in the exact company the young Boyne Island basketballer would like to keep.
MacDonald has only played the sport for three years but he fell in love with it after he was persuaded to try out.
"A local chiropractor, John Owens, who was our family chiropractor, was keen to get us started when I was 13," the 2.05m tall (six foot nine inches) 16-year old said.
Given his size, it's not hard to see why MacDonald's presence on court would be sought. His brother is nearly the same height at the age of 14.
His love of the game quickly brought results for MacDonald and a reinforced hoop above the driveway of his family's house helped develop his skills.
It was not long before teams began showing interest in MacDonald and offers led to a move to Brisbane Grammar School.
The workload change initially stunned MacDonald, but once he settled in, his basketball and academic results soared to match his towering height.
"They are big for basketball and have good academics as well," he said.
"It was hard to start off with going from two hours here a week to doing two hours a day down there."
His efforts are obviously paying off though, with MacDonald added to the National Performance Squad and the under-18 state lists.
One of the things that excites him about his state and national prospects is the possibility he'll meet someone taller than he is.
"I have yet to see someone my age taller than me," he said.
"There is a guy in Victoria that is 6'11", so I am hoping to get to nationals and play against him in Canberra."
With idols like Australians Andrew Bogut and Patrick Mills who play in the NBA, he also aspires to play in the esteemed big league but he is not sure just what path to take at this stage to realise his dream.
However, the National Performance Program is designed to deliver talented juniors straight into a Boomers team of the future.
"It is where I am looking to go, make Australia and travel overseas," MacDonald said.
"I want to do something basketball. Whether it is college or not who knows."
Visiting family in Gladstone during the school holidays, MacDonald is clearly looking forward to making the next two years big ones as he trains hard to improve his basketball as well as achieve well academically.