Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Challenge Accepted by Trio

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Challenge Accepted by Trio

Article excerpt

Ben Turnbull

THERE is no doubt Bundaberg punches above its weight when it comes to providing players to representative basketball teams, this was proven again when Tom Sheida, Madi Hard and Ben Wright were selected in the under-16 North Queensland squads.

Over a few months the trio travelled up and down the east coast, spending a combined 200 hours in planes, trains and automobiles and another 200 hours on courts in places like Cairns, Townsville and Mackay.

Leaving from the southernmost point in the North Queensland zone the talented youngsters gave more of their time, used more of their energy and put more into making the squads than their northern counterparts.

And as much as they all love basketball not one of the players sacrificed school work at the expense of basketball.

"It was tough because you have to manage your school work and I was a student athlete and being a student came first so I had to do my homework while I was travelling," Tom said.

"I was doing my homework on trains and planes - it was pretty crazy."

Tom added there were a few times he would be recording an assignment while he was travelling and the other passengers looked at him like he was a crazy person talking to himself.

While Tom and Ben's selections were noteworthy, for Madi to make the cut was a fantastic effort. Playing in an under-strength team it was hard for her to stand out without seeming to be self-centred on court.

But selectors looked past the team result and saw her talent was what they needed to make the North Queensland Squad.

All three have bright futures in the sport, but for Tom his North Queensland honour was one of the last rep squads he will make while living in Bundaberg.

The 14-year-old has been invited to play at the prestigious TSS (The Southport School) in its basketball program and will be leaving Bundaberg at the end of the month. …

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