Helping to bridge the NBL gap

THE development path of choice for many talented young Australian basketballers these days is the American College system.

Hundreds of Aussie kids currently play and study in the birthplace of basketball and while many never carve out a professional sporting career, the skills and degree that result often set them on a career path. New Ipswich Force coach Andrew Summerville has spent years helping talented juniors make the jump to a US College.

He hopes when he arrives in Ipswich more local players will follow in the footsteps of players like Matt Hodgson who currently plays for St Mary's College in California.

"I've sent a fair few kids over in the last few years," Summerville said.

"I do a college exposure tour each year where I take Australian kids to the US to play in some tournaments.

"The sole purpose of the tour is to help players get recruited by college scouts and coaches. The school I'm working at now had a tour in July and it looks like we'll probably have two or three kids go next year.

"That's an area where I think I can help some of the talented Ipswich kids out even bridging that gap between the QBL and NBL."



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