Lukas leaps into Vic Country squad

WARRNAMBOOL basketballer Lukas Essenwanger’s determination has culminated in a state call-up.

Lukas, who turned 15 on Tuesday, will compete at the under 16 Australian junior championships in Geelong in July after he was named in the 10-player Vic Country roster.

The 190-centimetre centre’s rise to state selection comes just two years after he took up the sport.

Warrnambool Seahawks under 16 coach Zac Lane said Lukas’ strong work ethic would have impressed Vic Country selectors.

“It’s probably a different range of things — he always wants to win and doesn’t like losing and is committed to trying hard,” he said.

“He is not far off playing (Big V) Seahawks actually.

“He’ll definitely be in with the under 18 side next year and that will be a good experience for him as well.”

Lukas said the opportunity to play at a national carnival was exciting.

“It will be a hard competition. There will probably be a few big kids,” he said. 

“Our coaches told us Melbourne (Vic Metro) had a six-foot-eight kid. 

“I’ll learn to be a better player.”

The Warrnambool College student won a silver medal with Vic Bushrangers at the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup in Albury in January.

His performances at that carnival, which included a 10-point effort in the gold medal play-off against South Australian Magpies, elevated him into Vic Country contention.

Warrnambool teenager Jeremy Bolden will compete at the under 18 national championships in Belconnen next week.

The power forward will represent Vic Country and is one of six players who collected bronze at under 16 level two years ago in the under 18 squad.

The under 18 tournament runs from April 10-17. 

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