AN emerging Warrnambool basketballer is catching the attention of national scouts.
Junior Seahawks guard Jay Rantall will test himself against Australia’s best teenage players at a development camp in January.
The Vic Country under 16 silver medallist said he was excited to be one of only 20 male players invited to the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence-based program.
Rantall, 15, said visits to the Australian Institute of Sport gave him an insight of what to expect at the four-day development camp.
He believes his skillset has improved in 2016, having performed well at the national championships.
“I think I got better overall,” Rantall said.
“Everyone says I’ve had a bit of a temper issue but I think I have controlled that more.
“As a leader and person, on and off the court, I think I’ve got better.”
Rantall is juggling basketball with football.
He won a Hampden league under 16 flag with South Warrnambool in August and wants to help the Roosters go back-to-back in 2017.
But the Warrnambool College student, who will represent Warrnambool in Shepparton this weekend, knows he will have to pick one sport in coming years.
“I think I will focus on basketball but footy is still in the back of my mind,” Rantall said.
“My highlight this year was getting a silver medal and playing in the national gold medal game.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t get the gold medal but you later realise how big an achievement it (coming second) was.
“Doing it with three really good mates (Warrnambool’s Dominic Occhipinti, Hayden Rhook and Liam Herbert) was the best part about it.”
Rantall said watching Australian duo Matthew Dellavedova and Patty Mills star on the NBA stage and Warrnambool export Nathan Sobey step up at NBL level gave him inspiration.
“It is possible – they have done it,” he said.
“With Nathan, I played with him every now and then (when he was home) and have spoken to him a little bit.”
Meanwhile, the high-flying Terang Tornadoes will host Warrnambool Seahawks in Country Basketball League action on Saturday night.
The second-placed Tornadoes have built a commanding 7-3 win-loss record but did fall to the sixth-ranked Seahawks earlier this season.
Terang will also play Corio Bay Stingrays on Sunday afternoon.
Warrnambool Mermaids have a bye in the women’s competition.