THEY have dueled in many a backyard basketball battle, but this weekend, Bendigo's three Daniels brothers will go their separate ways in search of national championships.
Eldest brother Kai and youngest sibling Dash will represent Victorian teams at the Schools Sport Australia championships in Bendigo, starting Sunday, while Dyson will be shooting for a spot in the inaugural NBL1 grand final, when he lines up for Bendigo Braves in Saturday night's preliminary final clash against Frankston Blues.
For Dyson, 16, the unique feat has involved a trip back from Canberra, where he has been based with the NBA Global Academy program.
"I've been loving it .... lots of training every day and getting to compete against great athletes all around the country and the world is making me a better player by the day," he said.
Dyson was part of the NBA Global Academy squad, which won championship honours at Atlanta's NBA Academy Games.
Despite an amazing and likely career-altering academy experience, Dyson hinted at some disappointment in missing the Braves' two recent finals win.
He hopes to make up for lost time against the Blues in Frankston on Saturday and relished the chance to be back among his team-mates on Thursday night at training.
"The boys have been playing well; hopefully we can go down to Frankston and get the win and hopefully win the grand final the next week," said Dyson, who was this week selected in a 16-player squad to attend a training camp ahead of the FIBA Asia Under-16 Championships, and has played 13 NBL1 games in his debut season for the club their father Ricky won a pair of league MVP awards and a conference championship with.
Kai, who is representing Victoria at under-18 level, hinted at plenty of competitive rivalry between the brothers at home and on the practice court, but insisted it had helped spur each of them on with their respective development.
"When we were younger, we always wanted to be number one and the young man (Dash) didn't like coming in as Dyson and I didn't take it easy on him," said Kai, a year 12 student at Bendigo Senior Secondary College.
"He definitely has big shoes to live up to as we always take it to him and don't give him anything easy.
"Since Dyson's left the house and it's just Dash and I now, I have been trying to teach him a few things around the ring and using both sides of his body. He is definitely picking up on things."
Kai's Victorian team will start as one of the favourites for the August 10-16 tournament, alongside arch-rival New South Wales.
Since Dyson's left the house it's only Dash and I know and I've been trying to teach him a few things around the ring and using both sides of his body.Kai Daniels
Dash, 11, who will make his debut at the SSA nationals at under-12 level, believed watching his brothers play in recent years had given him a good grasp of what to expect at the championships.
The Camp Hill Primary School grade 5 student, who is also an accomplished under-12 footballer with Golden Square, is most looking forward to earning a crack at a gold medal.
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