Local basketballers Haiden Ings, Grace Whyte and Amelia Hassett have been named in the NSW country under 16s teams to compete at the Australian championships.
The trio will travel to Darwin to compete against country and metro teams during the eight day tournament between July 6-13.
Ings is especially excited by his selection.
“I’m wrapped to make the team,” he said,
“I made the reserves last year, so this is a big achievement for me; one of the goals I can tick off my list.”
The Tumut High School student started playing basketball when he was very young and the passion for the sport has just grown.
“I’ve been playing basketball since I was five,” he said
“I love all aspects of the game but I mainly love playing with my mates and I know that no two games are the same,” he said.
Ings made the progression from the Tumut competition to the Albury Cougars representative team and hasn’t looked back.
“I’ve been with the Cougars for three years,” he said.
“I went to Albury to improve my skills and to be apart of Basketball NSW.”
This move has paid dividends for the 15-year-old with his additional selection in the 2019 Riverina CHS side and Basketball NSW’s state performance program.
Basketball NSW’s high performance coach, Curtis Sardi was full of praise for the Tumut talent.
“Haiden has really worked hard during his time with the state performance program and we can see that in his performances on the court,” he said.
“His athleticism and tenacity are traits that made him an appealing selection for the country side.”
Sardi is hoping that Ings can rub off on the other player’s selected.
“His work ethic is phenomenal. If I could take his work ethic and give it to every player, I would,” he said.
Ings’ development with the high performance programs and recognition with selection in the NSW country team and Riverina CHS side is a testament to his work on and off the court.
“Haiden’s has worked hard with the development program and with the Albury Cougars and you can see obvious improvements in his game,” said Sardi.
Ings is currently away representing the Riverina CHS opens boys side and will turn his attention to his trip to Darwin when he returns home.
The big trip to will be made easier by his team and family.
“We will travel as a team and my mum and dad are coming,” he said.
The opportunity to play at the Australian under 16 junior championships could very well be another stepping stone for the young talent.