Lavey takes to court at AIS

BENDIGO basketballer Tessa Lavey is today bound for the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra to take up a scholarship.Lavey, 16, is among eight new athletes who have been named in the 2010 AIS women’s basketball program.Lavey, who has just completed Year 11 at Catholic College Bendigo, has earned her scholarship after a lengthy national talent identification process.It has been a hectic year for Lavey since moving to Bendigo in January.In August the point guard represented Australia at the inaugural FIBA Oceania under-17 championships against New Zealand.Australia won the series 3-0 to qualify for the Junior World Championships, to be held in France in July next year.This year Lavey also helped the Victoria Country under-18 side to second place at the national titles.As part of her scholarship, Lavey will suit up for the AIS WNBL team, with her first game in Australia’s top women’s league to be against Dandenong on December 19.“Playing in the WNBL should be a really good experience; I need it to develop,” Lavey said yesterday.Among the WNBL games Lavey will play for the AIS will be a match against the Bendigo Bank Spirit at the Schweppes Centre on January 31.Also among the eight new women players who have been given AIS basketball scholarships for 2010 is Shepparton’s Maddie Garrick, who has been playing WNBL with the Spirit this season.AIS women’s basketball head coach Phil Brown said he was looking forward to working with the young talent.“The talent and potential of the players we have recruited for 2010 is exciting,” Brown told the AIS website.“We have identified some outstanding athletes, from our point guards, to our shooting guards and small forwards through to our post players.”The basketball program is one of eight founding sports at the AIS.Among those to have gone through the program are the world’s best female basketballer Lauren Jackson, former No.1 NBA draft pick with the Milwaukee Bucks Andrew Bogut, and Patrick Mills, who is on the roster of NBA club Portland this season.

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