LISTEN: Four pairs of sisters and brothers to play in CDC
BASKETBALL: It will be a special occasion for Jordan and Isabella Zerner when they represent Gladstone's respective under-16 boys and girls teams in what for some will be their first Central District Carnival campaign.
The Zerners are one four sibling pairs set to play in the CDC and join Ben and Luke Knight, Erin and Ben Harvey and Connor and Nick Lantry as the other brothers and sisters.
Jordan said he looked forward to the challenge to wear the Gladstone singlet for the first time as the new-look U16 boys team take on Rockhampton today in game one at 10.20am.
"I was a little bit surprised (on selection) because there were a lot of experienced players that didn't make it but I'm glad that I made it," he said.
He'll play in the number four or five positions and he said his biggest improvement had been in believing himself.
"I reckon I've improved in my confidence but I reckon I can still improve on that and hopefully I'll get there with the training and playing," Jordan said.
Jordan also took note of how joint-captains Josh Morfey, Seth Collins and Owen Gardiner go about their training.
"They're very good and just watching them do it, just shows how good I can be," he said.
Jordan started the sport four years ago while his sister has played for two years.
"About every afternoon we go outside and shoot around," Jordan said of what he and Isabella do on their home basketball court.
"Most of the time I beat her but it's all good."
Isabella will play in her second CDC for the girls coached by QBL Port City Power player Tyler Allen.
"He gives us plenty of advice and he's strict," she said.
The Power U18 team will gun for a 15-0 result at the end of this weekend's third and final CDC.
Coach Ray Cooper said there were still areas to work on.
"Being accountable for individual and team defence and the team has a lot of self pride in our style, so any mental lapses or missing assignments will always need to be worked on," he said.
With the likes of class players such as Thasindu Chandrasekara, Tibah O'Brien and Ben Harvey at the helm and for a likely clean sweep, Cooper said the next focus would be the state championships in Brisbane in January.
Gladstone have already qualified to play in division one.
"After the Bundaberg CDC we will re-group and discuss and identify what areas we will have to attack and go from there to be competitive in division one come January," Cooper said.
He also coaches the U16 boys team, which is a new-look team from the previous two years.
"We aren't focused on other teams and what they're doing because we are staying focused on how we play," Cooper said.
MORE WHAT RAY HAS TO SAY WITH A 'Q AND A'
NK: The aim is for a perfect record heading into states?
RC: Going 15 and 0 for the rep season will be a great achievement for us and one of our goals we have reached. We aim to play with a certain style and be very consistent at it.
NK: What areas does the team need to improve on?
RC: Being accountable for individual and team defence. The team have a lot of self pride in our style so any mental lapses or missing assignments will always need to be worked on..
NK: What areas of the game you been most pleased about?
RC: The commitment we have made to each other and the high standard we have set through our trainings, practice games and rep games has been very pleasing. We set out to be a very fast offensive team and aggressive defensively.
NK: Who has been the biggest improver individually?
RC: All the boys have added more skills to there game and I feel that they have all improved individually. It's great to see them all develop and look forward how much more they can add to there game in the next couple of months.
NK: What are you looking for most in the Bundy CDC?
RC: From the last CDC we have been working on our defence and improving in that area., but also for them to lead and be the highlight of the u16 and u18 games.
NK: The U18s look well-equip to go great in the Classics- what is the aim as the coach?
RC: After the Bundaberg CDC we will regroup and discuss and identify what areas we will have to attack and go from there to be competitive in Div1 come January.
NK: It's somewhat of a transition phase with lads moving from 16s to 18s- so you are looking for the top ages to lead from the front?
RC: I expect everyone to be on the front foot early and be ready to go. Both top and bottom ager are working very well together. There's a bit of experience on the team with Ben Knight and Albert Maunga recently being away with Emerging North Queensland team which will show there professional approach towards the game.
NK: Speaking of which, a 3-captain leadership group, I understand it was from their peers to vote?
RC: There was a team meeting held in which it was teaching for all the boys to understand more aspects to the game other than just coming out and playing basketball on the court, from this we came up with a leadership group being Owen Gardiner, Seth Collins and Josh Morfey.
NK: How have preparations been training wise?
RC: The last couple of sessions we have had have been really intense with a lot of energy coming from the whole team. The boys are still getting use to getting coached hard and being accountable to hold themselves at a high standard.
NK: The team is a bit of an unknown, but is a 4-0 sweep is realistic?
RC: We aren't focused on other teams and what they are doing...we are staying focused on how we play. If the boys play with right effort, have great teamwork and show professional front we will put ourselves in the right position to win as many games as we can.
IT'S GAME TIME
U18B Glad v Rocky 9am; Glad v HB 11.40am; Glad v MB 5pm. U16B Glad v Rocky 10.20am; Glad v Rocky 2 3.40pm. U16G Glad v Rocky 11.40am; Glad v Gym 2.20pm
U18B Glad v Bun 9.20am; Glad v Em 12pm. U16B Glad v Bun 8am; Glad v Rocky 10.40am. U16G Glad v Bun 10.40am; Glad v Gym 1.20pm