TWO junior Bendigo Braves players, Piper Dunlop and Dyson Daniels will embark on the journey of a lifetime and fulfill their dream of representing Australia on the global basketball stage.
Dunlop and Daniels will travel to Papua New Guinea for the FIBA Under-15 Oceania Championships where they will compete against teams from throughout the region from December 4-8.
“I have dreamed about putting on the green and gold jersey my whole life, so to actually have this opportunity is amazing,” Dunlop said.
“The opportunity they give kids to play for Australia is amazing. We all work so hard, push ourselves to the limit so we can improve our skills and to be acknowledged at this level motivates me to keep going.”
Dunlop was initially confused upon receiving an email notification that she had been selected for the girls national team.
“When we received the email to say I had been accepted, I honestly thought they had sent it to the wrong person because I felt as if I had the worst try out ever,” Dunlop laughed.
The trip to PNG will be Dunlop’s first experience travelling to another country, something she will never forget.
“I’m so excited for my first trip overseas to be representing Australia, this is a memory that I will have for the rest of my life.”
Their selection for each of their respective teams follows their participation in a Basketball Australia development camp held earlier in the year.
The camp brought together Australia’s top junior players for intensive training, under the observation of Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence coaches and identified network coaches.
Daniels also believed his selection for the boys national team acknowledged years of hard work and dedication on the basketball court.
“It’s incredible to be given this opportunity to represent Australia at such a young age,” Daniels said.
Despite feeling some last minute nerves, he knows once he takes to the court in PNG he will do his very best.
“I’ve put in so much hardwork to get to where I am.”
Both Dunlop and Daniels are products of the Bendigo Braves and they share the same goal for the future, to make it into the basketball big leagues.
Dunlop said the moment that she stepped out onto a basketball court it was where she needed to be to secure her future.
“I get so much enjoyment of being out on the court and playing with girls who give the same level of commitment and share the same goal as myself to succeed as a basketball player,” Dunlop said.
Following in the footsteps of his father, Daniels’ plan for his career is to play within a college league in the United States or a European league and progress into the NBA.
The 2018 Boys and Girls Schedules for the FIBA Under-15 Oceania Championships (all times AEDT):
December 4: Australian Girls vs. Samoa at 2pm
December 4: Australian Boys vs. Samoa at 5pm
December 5: Australian Boys vs. New Zealand at 12pm
December 5: Australian Girls vs. New Zealand at 4pm
December 5: Australian Boys vs. Guam at 7pm
December 6: Australian Girls vs. Papua New Guinea at 2pm
December 6: Australian Girls vs. Fiji at 7pm
December 7: Australian Girls vs. Tonga at 5pm
December 7: Australian Boys Semi-Final at 2pm or 8pm
December 8: Australian Girls Medal Games. Bronze at 2pm, Gold at 6pm
December 8: Australian Boys Medal Games. Bronze at 4pm, Gold at 8pm
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