TEENAGE Laang basketballer Liam Killey can give his American college aspirations a boost when he represents Victoria Country.
Liam, 16, is part of a 10-player squad which will contest the Australian under 18 championships in Brisbane from April 20 to 27.
The Brauer College student will play as a centre at the titles under head coach Guy Molloy.
Liam, who is 203 centimetres tall, weighs 95 kilograms and has size 16 shoes which he imports from the US, described his selection as “surreal”.
His berth comes on the back of the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup at Albury in January and state team trials.
Liam said he would go up against taller rival centres at the national titles.
His goal was “just to have a good tournament”.
“Play the team game, get rebounds, run the floor — that’s what I got picked for, that’s what they look for in a five,” Liam said.
“Probably not huge scoring points wise. Five, six, 10 points a game and over 10 rebounds a game would be fantastic.”
Liam said he hoped to play American college basketball down the track.
He hopes a break-out performance at the national titles will be his ticket to the US.
“It’s the first time for me, but surely there would have to be (scouts at nationals),” he said.
“I’ve heard there are Australian scouts up there that scout for American colleges.
“I want to hopefully get a scholarship to America and travel over there, go to uni.
“Even in the next 12 months, if I get a scholarship I would go and do high school, finish year 12 over there and come back or maybe stay over there.”
Liam started his basketball career at Terang Stadium thanks to Kerrie Crawley, who introduced him to the sport.
His parents Barry and Tasamin Killey and Seahawks trio Damien Bishop, Bobby Cunningham and Tim Gainey have also been mentors.
Liam said the team nature of basketball appealed to him. “You bond as a team a lot better. You make some great friends out of it,” he said.
n Meanwhile, three Warrnambool basketball squads have tasted success at a Portland tournament.
The under 12 boys and two under 16 boys’ teams claimed grand final wins at the 2013 South West Classic.
The under 12s defeated Millicent 33-19 and the under 16s division one team thrashed Portland 60-26.
The under 16s division two final was an all-Warrnambool affair, with Warrnambool Green beating Warrnambool White 31-16.
Warrnambool was runner-up in two other grades. The under 12 girls lost to Hamilton 28-20, while the under 18 girls lost to Mount Gambier 50-43.
Warrnambool Junior Basketball chairperson Michael Gray said he was pleased with the results.
“Many individual players are showing tremendous development. (It’s a) just reward for their effort and commitment to training over the course of the squad program,” he said.