Ipswich sporting all-rounder chases American dream
MULTI-talented Ipswich teenager Charlotte Hegvold reveals a lot about her professional ambitions when she rates Ali Brigginshaw and Damian Lillard major inspirations.
Having accepted an American offer to join Weber State University next year, Hegvold is well on her way.
The loyal Ipswich Force and St Peter Claver College basketballer is eager to base herself in Utah next year, having being offered a NCAA Division 1 opportunity.
A four-year scholarship with Weber State Uni would expose the dedicated student to the highest level of college basketball.
"I'm really excited. It's just a step closer to where I want to be,'' said Hegvold, who turns 18 in March.
That step is playing professional basketball overseas and representing Australia, something she has dreamt of since she was eight.
The fleet-footed point guard has already built an impressive resume representing Ipswich, Met West and Queensland at major club and school competitions.
Since making her first Ipswich Force team in 2011, she has been a regular representative player, including captaining sides up to under-18 level.
Three years ago, Hegvold lined up for a Queensland team playing tournaments in Los Angeles.
She's shared in a number of junior Force team successes, including undefeated efforts at under-12 and under-16 level.
Among the coaches she is working with is former American/Australian professional guard Derek Rucker.
The long-time Brisbane Bullets national league player has been fine-tuning Hegvold's court skills for more than two years at Auchenflower.
"He's really developed me,'' she said of working with Rucker. "It gives me a little bit more confidence in myself.''
But it's not only in basketball that the self-motivated year 12 student has laid the foundation for future elite sporting success.
The St Peter Claver College school captain is also making a name for herself in rugby league, where she's worked closely with Ipswich's World Cup-winning star Ali Brigginshaw.
Like Brigginshaw, Hegvold is a five-eighth always looking to improve.
"She's probably my biggest inspiration,'' the former Silkstone State School student said.
Hegvold has represented Met West in rugby league since 2014, sharing in last year's silver medal-winning success.
Hegvold also features prominently in other sports like netball, touch football, futsal and soccer.
In 2014, she was the first girl to represent Met West in three different sports at state championships. That was in basketball, cricket and rugby league.
Hegvold said tackling "giants'' and "getting smashed'' in rugby league was where she gained physical skills vital to achieving success in the United States.
"I feel like the Americans in basketball are really aggressive and that's something Australians particularly have to work on,'' she said.
"Rugby league just kind of helps me in terms of being aggressive and more physical.''
As a player on the rise, Hegvold also dares to dream of one day playing in the Women's National Basketball League competition and representing her country.
However, the humble teenager backed by ever-supportive parents Calvin and Nickey, knows it's a tough road ahead, requiring extra commitment.
That's why she also admires American professional player Lillard.
Having also attended Weber State University, Lillard became a five-time NBA All-Star through sheer dedication. He still plays for the Portland Trailblazers.
It's that mix of measured ambition and untapped potential that has Hegvold aiming high.
She appreciates her family support, including working with sister Amelia and brother Hamish.
She is also grateful for how St Peter Claver College has assisted her, especially teacher Claire Spicer.
Other big influences include Brothers under-16 rugby league coach Steve Doyle and Force duo Terry Lindeberg and Dave Chettle.
Lindeberg and Chettle have joined with Charlotte's father Calvin in nurturing a fantastic Ipswich Force junior program.
Charlotte may soon work more closely with Lindeberg in his role as coach of the Ipswich women's team preparing for next month's revamped Queensland State League competition.
Lindeberg has worked with Hegvold at under-16 and under-18 level, having seen her blossom.
"She's a good kid,'' Lindeberg said.
"Her main attribute is she works really hard.
"A lot of kids these days just do the team training. She's done a lot of individual shooting with Derek Rucker.''
She trains most afternoons, often walking to the stadium or gym for extra fitness.
With a keen interest in music, psychology and nutrition, Hegvold is keen to play in the QSL before heading overseas after finishing year 12.
As she continues working hard, Hegvold is also thankful for the support of Swifts club president Jon Simpson. That's where Hegvold started her basketball career aged four.
Star in the making
Charlotte Hegvold's main sporting achievements over the past 12 months.
2019-2020: Met West 16-18 years rugby league representative (player of game in 2019 state titles semi-final);
2019/2020: Captained the Ipswich Force U18 representative team at the Basketball Queensland Junior Basketball Competition and State Championships (she was selected for the State Performance Program and a reserve for the state team);
2019: Met West 16-18 years basketball representative (team won gold at state championships);
2019: Made her debut with the Ipswich Force women's team in the Queensland Basketball League;
2019: St Peter Claver Senior Sportswoman of the year.