Looks like team spirit
BASKETBALL: A leading Gladstone basketball coach said the next wave of under-16 talent have the ability to establish themselves in an elite program.
Ray Cooper was talking about the latest Queensland North squads which include 11 of Gladstone's finest junior male and female players.
It is the most that the Gladstone Amateur Basketball Association has had in the squad at any given one time.
Ben Harvey, Thasindu Chandrasekara, Marley Evans, Jack Small and Ben Murdoch join the 49 other youngsters.
Emily Lymbery, Jessica Wilmot, Aliah Bernabei, Kaitlyn Stratford, Darcie Arnold and Suskia Paitai-Patali are a part of the 46-strong girl's squad.
The 11 completed a rigorous training camp in Rockhampton last month and Suskia hopes several aspects of her game has improved and in turn to give herself every chance of making the final cut.
"The training was a very high intensity and I think that my defence and offence have improved,” Suskia said.
She also made the Central Emerging team last year and is just in her sixth year of playing basketball.
Suskia plays as a point-guard and while it is nice to get the accolades by scoring points, she said it's about dishing the ball off.
"I like to give the ball to someone who is in a better scoring position,” Suskia said.
For someone who carries the ball down the court, it's also vital to orchestrate a variety of offences which are designed to unsettle opposition defences.
"When you get on the court enough times, then most of the offences get easier to remember,” Suskia said.
Athletic forward or centre Ben Murdoch has overcome an ankle injury, but after a four-week recovery period, he is all good to go in readiness for the next training camp in Townsville next month.
"I think I have improved in all areas of my game and this is my second time that I have been chosen in the squad and this time hope to make the final team,” Ben said.
Ben's ability to split defences, along with his height, build and pace are attributes that makes him a player of immense promise.
Cooper said the players' ability to turn theory into practice has been the most pleasing.
"It's probably their efforts on the court and they are very coachable,” Cooper said.
"The camp in January will revolve around executing defensive and offensive drills under the Basketball Queensland program.
"From that, we then have a scrimmage to put what they have learned into practice.”
Bottom-age players Thasindu, Jack and Marley have also impressed as have Aliah, Suskia and Kaitlyn.