Claudia Thomas has been selected in the South Australian Country basketball team to play at the national championship in the July school holidays.
As well as her selection in the State under 16 team, Thomas is also a member of the SA Country Basketball high performance squad.
Her step father Matt Whittaker said Thomas, 15, had been selected because of her potential as a basketballer.
“She also was identified and went to the South Australia Talent Identification camp, which is run by SA Sports Institute coaches and Basketball SA basketball manager Neil Gliddon,” he said.
Thomas had now attended that camp for the past three years and been a member of the Port Pirie development squad for the past five years.
At the South Australian Country Basketball Championships she played in the under 16 grade, where she won the Sarah-Jane Allen Memorial Trophy Most Valuable Player in the age group’s division one competition.
Basketball is her game –with her giving netball away to concentrate on her main sport.
Thomas said she “usually trains every day”.
That includes 200 shots, a 30-minute run, 20 push-ups and 30 sit-ups.
The St Mark’s College student plays in Adelaide each Friday night for Central Lions in division two.
It is her fourth season playing in Adelaide and also means travelling to Adelaide fortnightly for training.
In addition, she plays for Port A grade in Port Pirie Basketball Association in its summer competition, and Panthers in winter basketball.
The point guard started playing basketball as a seven-year-old in Port Pirie for Agnes.
Attending basketball’s national junior championships is new not to her – she has been a member of the under 14 team and under 16 teams previously at Albury.
She is looking forward to the fact that she will play in Tamworth this time around at a national tournament.
The exposure to play against Australia’s top basketballers in her age group will also give her valuable exposure.
That will improve her hopes of being picked up by Australian coaches to attend Oz camps and Australian selection or by United States college scouts.