TEENAGE tower Jeremy Bolden will take on a new role when he contests national junior basketball titles this weekend.
Jeremy is part of the Victoria Country team which will contest the Australian under 16 championships at Tamworth, New South Wales, from July 7 to 14.
The 15-year-old is one of the tallest young basketballers in Warrnambool and has played in the centre throughout his junior career.
But he said he conceded more than 10 centimetres to some of his new state teammates, which has prompted a role change. “I’ve been playing in centre for most my life as a basketballer,” he said.
“But coming into this squad, I’m a four man, a mid-range shooter and post player.
“I’ve had to make that change from where I’ve played most of my life, from a five to a four.
“We’ve got two 6’ 9” (205cm) players in my team. I’m 6’ 4” (190cm).”
Jeremy has relished training alongside country Victoria’s elite.
“It’s been awesome. It’s something I never really had an idea of,” he said.
“It’s weird how much different the game is playing with these awesome players around Victoria. It’s so good. It helps you, betters you as a player. It’s not intimidating.”
National junior titles provide young basketballers with a pathway to elite under-age competitions and potentially the National Basketball League.
Talent scouts already have a close eye on Jeremy, but the teenager said he was taking his basketball development one step at a time.
“I hope to go as far as I can, keep working and see where it leads me,” he said.
Jeremy is one of two Warrnambool representatives who will have roles at the Tamworth titles.
Former Warrnambool Seahawks coach Lee Primmer is an assistant coach of the boys’ side for the first time.
Primmer, a state junior girls’ coach in 2002 and 2011, has worked closely with Jeremy and said his improvement had surprised him.
“Eighteen months ago you wouldn’t have thought he’d make a state team but he’ll start in a state team,” he said.
“He’s the type of player who could surprise a lot of people in state teams.
“He’s 6’ 4”, 90kg. He’s a nice size for a 15-year-old boy.
“Where he goes depends on what his priorities are.”
Warrnambool basketballer Riley Harris and Portland teenager Daniel Skaer are emergencies for the squad.