WARRNAMBOOL can lay claim to two of the most promising teenage basketballers in Australia.
Exciting guards Jay Rantall and Liam Herbert will represent their country for the first time in October after making the Australian Crocs’ 12-player roster.
The duo will suit up in green and gold at the FIBA Under 16 Asia Cup – a qualifying tournament for the under 17 world championships in 2018 – with the date and location yet to be confirmed.
They were named in an initial 18-player squad in August and survived the final cut following an intensive four-day camp at the Australian Institute of Sport.
Rantall said making his first national team alongside his Seahawks junior representative squad teammate Herbert was surreal.
“I am still trying to get used to the feeling – I am going to represent my country,” he said.
“It’s been a dream for a long time. It’s a dream most friends don’t get to live.”
Rantall said it was exciting to share the news once the Crocs’ side was announced publicly on Thursday.
“I had an interview after the camp (and found out),” he said.
“I was holding it in for a week. It’s out now, so that’s good.”
Herbert echoed his mate’s sentiments.
“I remember just smiling and not really believing it,” he said.
“It was a childhood dream to play for my country; I grew up watching the Olympics.”
Rantall and Herbert – Vic Country under 16 silver medal-winning teammates – will both fill guard roles at the Asia Cup.
“Everyone is athletic and can score,” Rantall said.
“There is no weak link in the team.”
Herbert said the Crocs’ “advantages would be our athleticism and speed”.