Olgun Uluc has joined The Pick and Roll team and brings a wealth of detailed knowledge covering the Australian High School and junior basketball scene.
As the FIBA U17 and U19 World Championships approach, Australia’s best young athletes come together at the newly formed Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence, where they’ll showcase their skills at the 2014 Australian Development Camp (ADC). The training camp is held from 20-24 January 2014 with Opals and Boomers Head Coaches Brendan Joyce and Andrej Lemanis overlooking the future of Australian Basketball.
The FIBA U17 World Championships for both Men and Women are in the middle of 2014. This training camp provides one of the last opportunities for our elite young athletes to showcase their skills, as they hope to be selected in the respective squads.
The U17 men’s squad is one of the strongest to date, and should accomplish big things come August. They won their FIBA Oceania Qualifier against New Zealand towards the end of 2013, and look to have the size to compete in the FIBA World Championships in Dubai.
Players to Watch
1 | Isaac HUMPHRIES | 7’0″ | NSW
2013 has been a breakout year for Humphries. He dominated the U16 Australian Junior Championships (AJC) (20.4 ppg, 12.4 rpg, 2 bpg, 2.3 spg in just 25 mpg) and followed that up with appearances at the Adidas Nations and the U17 FIBA Oceania Series against New Zealand. Additionally, at only 15 years of age, he was a member of the Australian Boomers Camp; the youngest player since Dante Exum to achieve such a feat. With a newly acquired AIS scholarship and an unstoppable display at the Australian Schools Championships, Humphries is ready to reveal what he can do at the ADC.
2 | William MCDOWELL-WHITE | 6’3″ | QLD
The Mcdowell-White brothers have been highly touted prospects for a long time now. Both have the athleticism and skill to compete, but William, in particular, is a very intriguing prospect, already turning heads in the scouting world. At 6’3″, William is a great all-round player (16.9 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 6.4 apg at the U16 AJC) with unmatched athleticism at his position. The combo guard out of Queensland will be looking to impress in an attempt to regain his starting spot in the U17 national squad.
3 | Abiola AKINTOLA | 6’7″ | VIC
Abi Akintola is a forward out of Victoria who’s performed extremely consistently throughout every competition. The AIS scholarship holder plays a no-nonsense brand of basketball and is a vital piece in this U17 age group. He was very impressive at the Adidas Nations Tour in August, and was key in Australia’s victory in the FIBA Oceania series versus New Zealand.
The U19 Men’s Squad still has much work to do. Their lack of playing time as a team proved to be their undoing as they earned only silver at the FIBA Oceania Pacific Championships held in early December. The squad is missing some key players who have been unavailable due to other commitments, but the potential of the team remains sky-high.
Players to Watch
1 | Jack MCVEIGH | 6’7″ | QLD
With the likes of Jonah Bolden and Ben Simmons playing in the US, the U19 team turns to their AIS scholarship holder Jack McVeigh. McVeigh had a monster tournament at the Australian Schools Championships and, other than Dante Exum, was the star of the show (32ppg, 13.8rpg, 2.8 bpg). The lanky forward whose all-round game and athleticism gives him the ability to play 4 positions on the floor, impressed at the Adidas Nations and is constantly a highlight waiting to happen. This camp will give him ample opportunity to spend quality time with the U19 squad, something that has been in short supply previously.
2 | Tad DUFELMEIER JR | 6’1″ | ACT
Defulmeier Jnr came off the bench for the U19 squad in the FIBA Oceania Pacific Championships, and was a force to be reckoned with. He’s probably the best pure point guard attending the camp (I’ve heard from multiple players that he’s a joy to play with). Everyone knows him as the son of an NBL champion, but look for Dufelmeier Jnr to make a name for himself at this camp and break into the starting 5 at point guard.
3 | Tanner KREBS | 6’4″ | TAS
With a newly acquired AIS scholarship, Krebs is looking to prove why he was only 1 of 2 U19 men selected for this honor. He has quietly impressed at the AJC (16.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and was a standout performer for the Australian U19 side at the FIBA Oceania Pacific Championships with 10.2ppg.
The U17 women qualified for the FIBA World Championships with 3 blowout wins over New Zealand in the Qualifier series. This is a very strong, guard-driven unit that has the potential to progress extremely deep at the World Championships.
Players to Watch
1 | Tahlia TUPAEA | NSW
I’ll go out on a limb and say that Tupaea has the potential to be a key contributor to an Opal’s team in the near future. She’s that good! With a very respectable 10.7 ppg & 3.3 apg in the FIBA Oceania Qualifier Series, Tupaea has established herself as the go-to player on the team. She’s extremely skilled and can get to the rack when she wants. Tupaea will be a force to be reckoned with come training camp, even against the older U19 girls.
2 | Danijela MILISIC | NSW
Although the U17 women’s squad is quite guard-heavy, the glue that holds it all together is their center Milisic. The NSW pivot is a force down low, as she uses her size to finish over smaller opponents. She’s very adept at finishing around the rim, and has good hands for someone her size. She’s a vital piece in this U17 side, providing much-needed height.
The U19 women’s squad is also extremely strong; their amazing performance at this year’s FIBA Oceania Pacific Championships showed the world that they have the ability to dominate on any given night. Their first game, defeating Guam 97-6, demonstrated just how impressive this squad is.
Players to Watch
1 | Alicia and Keely FROLING | QLD
If you don’t already know about the Froling sisters: they’re sixteen year old identical twins, who come from quite a basketball pedigree. Dad, Shane, played 271 games in the NBL and was also an assistant coach for several years with the NBL’s Townsville Crocodiles. Their mother is a former AIS basketballer, and 4 time WNBL champion. They’ve been Opal’s prospects for a couple of years now, and this training camp will be a great opportunity to play with some other U19’s prospects, as they were held out of the FIBA Oceania Pacific Tournament in early December.
2 | Lauren SCHERF | VIC
After dominating the FIBA Pacific Championships (19.5ppg & 11rpg), Scherf is one of the best individual talents amongst the women at this camp. Her resume is slowly growing, having already represented Australia as part of the U19 national team in last year’s FIBA World Championships, and again in the FIBA Pacific Championships. The 6’5″ Scherf is fast making a name for herself.
Although there is a level of competitiveness involved, as selections for these national teams are just around the corner, the ADC is a chance for these young up-and-coming athletes to participate in an elite training program, and at one of the best basketball facilities in the country.
CLICK HERE for a full-list of all the talented Australian athletes attending the 2014 ADC.