Youngsters net WA selection

Alicia PereraPilbara News
KBA players (back) Isaiah Stevens, 13, Jake Levey, 14, Elijah Huddlestone, 13, and Kaidon Sander, 15; and (front) Madilyn Strange, 13, Ethan McIntosh, 14, and Jordi Perry, 13.
Camera IconKBA players (back) Isaiah Stevens, 13, Jake Levey, 14, Elijah Huddlestone, 13, and Kaidon Sander, 15; and (front) Madilyn Strange, 13, Ethan McIntosh, 14, and Jordi Perry, 13. Credit: Pictures: Alicia Perera, Alicia Perera

Eight young Karratha basket-ballers have been selected to play for WA on State representative teams in a record run of success for their local association.

Kaidon Sander, Ethan McIntosh, Jake Levey and Jordi Perry were recently picked for the men’s and women’s country WA squads, which are part of the Basketball WA State Performance Program.

Younger players Madilyn Strange, Isaiah Stevens, Elijah Huddlestone and Mali Hodzic, as well as Jordi, have also made their respective age groups to represent country WA in interstate tournament Southern Cross Challenge after after trialling in Perth.

Karratha Basketball Association president Cassie Perry said the selections came after only one player, Jordi, was selected for a similar team last year — an achievement that made her the first player in the association’s history to be selected for a State team.

She said the large 2019 intake showed the KBA’s investment in developing its junior players was starting to pay off.

“Going back a few years, we didn’t have the pathways and programs in place, but over probably the past four years, we’ve increased our focus on putting development programs together and providing more training,” she said.

“In the off-season, we’ve been running eight-week development clinics and all that sort of stuff does contribute to the kids being at a higher standard, because they are getting more and more training.”

Basketball WA Pilbara regional development officer Samantha Dell’Orso said selection for the WA representative squads would provide players with the opportunity to “take their basketball to the next level”.

“Final selection (for their respective WA Country teams) will give the athletes the opportunity to represent WA country at the 2020 Australian championships, where they will compete against the best athletes in Australia in their respective age groups,” she said.

“Nationals is an amazing experience, which can offer further basketball opportunities, and a great way to be seen by some of the greatest coaches in Australia.”

Perry said the KBA was proud of all the selected players, who had each “put in the effort and (were) now reaping the rewards”.

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