Bendigo junior basketballer Will Petersen has been selected to represent Victoria at the 2021 Australian School Championships.
Petersen, 12, was named on the squad after impressing selectors at an intensive two-day skills camp held at Melbourne during the school holidays.
With the ASCs scheduled to be held this November on the Gold Coast, there's four months left for Petersen to continue training and developing before game time.
"I am looking forward to the challenge of pushing myself to play at my best," he said.
Petersen's path to selection involved several tryouts where thousands of junior boys and girls from across the state trialled before the teams were reduced down to the final squads.
However, his passion for the sport started much earlier and has involved playing with domestic and representative squads in Bendigo.
Petersen, most recently, has been working under the guidance of Bendigo under-14 junior program coach Ben Caruana.
"Will's development has been very good which has also been helped by his size as he's grown in height," Caruana said
"He understands the importance of individual roles within teams, how to be an effective scorer and getting through a game without getting himself into foul trouble."
Another of Petersen's strengths is his track and field ability as a sprinter, one of the top three within his age bracket in the state.
"Selectors for these kinds of teams look for long-term potential which includes physical ability, in addition to the player's mentality," Caruana said.
"He always takes guidance from coaches and listens to his team-mates."
The Australian School Championships will see students from across the country travel to Queensland to compete against like-minded athletes .
Petersen couldn't be more thrilled to lap up the experience of playing alongside fellow Victorian basketballers.
Basketball Australia executive general manager Paul Male said the competition was the nation's peak tournament for school teams.
"These championships represent the pinnacle of school basketball in Australia, providing the only opportunity for public and private secondary school-based teams to compete at a national level against teams from across the country," Male said.
"The popularity of basketball continues to rise amongst Australia's youth and participation within schools continues to grow at a rapid rate.
"This progress year on year is reflected in the numbers we are seeing attend the Australian School Championships and after the 2020 event had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, we can't wait to get back out on court in November on the Gold Coast."
The tournament is scheduled to be held from Sunday November 28 to Thursday December 2 at the Carrara Indoor Sports Stadium.
Petersen's determination won't stop once he's finished on the Gold Coast.
His sights are set on taking his on-court ability to the highest possible level.
"I'd love to eventually play college basketball or in the NBL or NBA," he said.
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