Three students from Encounter Lutheran College have been selected in Australian under-16 basketball sides to travel to New Zealand at Easter.
Fourteen-year-old twins Keeley and William Round and Daniel Smith have been chosen to represent their country and all three thank their parents for their valued support and the basketball program which exists at Encounter Lutheran College.
Co-ordinator of the Encounter Lutheran basketball program Troy Wegener said he was proud of the students and speaks volumes of the college’s basketball program.
“The program works so well, as we complement the district competition, which all three are part of with the Southern Tigers,” Troy said.
“We aim to accelerate development, because of the opportunities and coaching we can provide at the college.
“Our head coach Dean Nyberg should be recognised, as he brings a practical aspect to the college and understands where all players are at, in particular William, Keeley and Daniel and can tailor programs to help their continued development.”
Troy said further evidence of this is the success the college had in 2017 at the Australian Basketball Schools Championships in Melbourne.
“We won the under 20 division 2 title and were well represented at under 17 level,” he said.
William said it was good feeling to be selected to play for your country.
“I am very excited and enjoy striving to go to the next level in my basketball.
“The higher you play the better you get,” he said.
Keeley said it was “fabulous”.
“I have played state country basketball and this is the first time I have been selected to play in the Australian Country team.
“It is an honour to play for your country,” she said.
“Our parents have been fantastic and we thank them very much for their support and the amount of time they spend taking us to training and games.”
Daniel said he started playing basketball at nine-years-of-age in the Great Southern Amateur Basketball Association.
“Over the past five years I have been pushing myself to play higher. It has been a lot of hard work and a lot of travel. I am so stoked to be selected,” Daniel said.
All three make a huge commitment each week travelling to play in the district competition for the Southern Tigers.
Up to four to five times a week they train and play throughout the metropolitan area and venturing as far north as Gawler.
William heaped praise on the basketball program at Encounter Lutheran and Keeley and Daniel agreed with his comments.
“The basketball program is the reason I came to the college,” he said.
Daniel said he would not have the opportunity to play for Australian Country if not for the basketball program and without his parents.