PERSISTENCE sums up Ben Walters.
The Warrnambool Seahawks youngster spent the majority of this past season on the bench but continued to put his hand up for selection.
He'd have been forgiven for throwing in the towel - Walters works three jobs and commutes from Camperdown to training and matches - but he stuck at it.
With Liam Killey not playing, the stars aligned and Walters found himself in the thick of it as a starting centre.
The result? A match-winning, 25-point display in the Seahawks' most recent clash with Terang Tornadoes prior to Christmas.
The first season, I rode the bench pretty hard but in hindsight I think it was probably a good thing.- Ben Walters
"The first season, I rode the bench pretty hard but in hindsight I think it was probably a good thing," he told The Standard.
"There's been a lot of time in the car. I was working at Alvie Primary School which is down near Colac and then coming back and going to training on Tuesday and Thursdays but it's been good.
"It's definitely been hard at times riding the bench. There's time where you want to give up a bit but I sort of stuck with it and I'm glad I did." The 19-year-old always played domestic competition in Camperdown but didn't make the switch to the Seahawks program until he was a bottom-age under 16 prospect.
"I came down by myself originally just to test myself a bit with better competition and just sort of stuck with it," Walters said.
"I had a mate (Charlie Conheady) come with after a year but he's struggled a bit with injuries. I decided to stick at it." The chance to work with some of the club's more experienced campaigners through the Big V program had also built his game.
"Playing with (Alex) Gynes, Tim (Gainey), (James) Mitchell made a bit stronger," Walters said.
"Even Daniel Kingsley on the CBL side of things. It's helped me get better."
"I don't really think I'm stronger in one way or another but you want to be strong at both ends of the court."
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Walters said the Seahawks - who are third at 3-1 - were bullish about their chances of Country Basketball League success.
"I think we can definitely go all the way this year," he said. Seahawks coach James Mitchell said Walters had impressed with his dedication to the cause.
"We cut him in the first season but said 'we'd love for you to keep training' and to his credit he did," Mitchell said. "He played all of two minutes last season but he'd lose his voice each week from the sidelines. I couldn't be happier for anyone to have success this season like he's having."
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