Bendigo basketballer Michelle Vanzuyden has been chosen to represent Victoria at the 2022 National Indigenous Basketball Tournament.
The 14-year-old Bunjils player is heading to the Gold Coast this week to compete at the national tournament which will see some of the best Indigenous junior players from across Australia compete at the inaugural competition.
The week-long program includes a training camp followed by a four-day round robin tournament.
Vanzuyden's selection to the Victorian team came after plenty of hard work on the court playing domestic basketball in Bendigo in addition to successfully progressing through the IBA trial process.
"The three tryouts were quite intensive. I just tried my absolute best every session as I just want to be as good as I possibly can at basketball," Vanzuyden said.
Now that all the pieces are in place, Vanzuyden can't wait to get on court at the tournament.
"Once I'm up there I am expecting it to be high-intensity as no doubt every player will be doing their best as we all want to succeed," she said.
Bunjils basketball secretary Amanda Pavilach said Vanzuyden's selection was testament to her dedication to the sport.
"In order for Michelle to be selected she had to compete against other top players from across the state at tryouts where she showcased her skills," Pavilach said.
"To make it all the way to this level from such a small club really is a fantastic achievement."
Backed by Australian NBA player Patty Mills, the tournament is considered the pinnacle of the overall Indigenous Basketball Australia program.
"It is a chance for our top athletes to not only showcase their talent on the national stage but to demonstrate what goal setting and aiming high really looks like," Mills said.
"I am so proud of our top young athletes; they have really committed themselves and grasped this opportunity with both hands."
At the conclusion of the tournament one boy and one girl will be selected for the future Jr. NBA youth basketball competitions.
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