The 2018 Under 16 State Championships are just two days away, and will be held at the Gold Coast Sport and Leisure Centre from the 10th – 14th of January. With 75 teams competing, the event will showcase some of the most promising talent from around Queensland. In the lead up to the event, we preview a few of the players to look out for:
Under 16 Boys – Division 1
Ky Stattmann (Cairns Basketball)
Younger brother to Virginia University commit Kody Stammann, Ky has big shoes to fill as he starts to carve out his own basketball journey. Ky has a vast array of offensive skills and demonstrates a great capacity as a playmaker for himself and his teammates. Ky is a genuine three-level scoring threat and will keep his defender honest in each matchup he has. Stattmann will need to improve his consistency of performances from the QNJBC competition, if Cairns is a chance at playing in the important games later in the week.
Deshawn Ross (Ipswich Basketball)
Deshawn Ross is an incredibly crafty offensive talent, as evident through his BQJBC performance where he has scored over 30 points 6 times in 7 games. The culmination of those performances was a 46-point outburst against BBI in October. Ross is highly touted and is generating plenty of hype. This tournament will be a good opportunity for him to reinforce the excitement surrounding his ability. He is priority number 1 on every scouting report and is going to be the focal point of each opposition’s defensive plans. Can he replicate those performances when it matters most?
Harrison Pennisi (Townsville Basketball)
Pennisi is the anchor, which lead the Townsville Heat to a QNJBC gold medal. Pennisi has good size, length and athleticism, that he uses to impact the game on both ends of the floor. Penisi has good touch around the rim with both hands on the offensive end, whilst having the ability to change shots and clear the defensive glass down the other. When playing assertively, Pennisi looks to be a dominant figure. Expect a solid showing from Pennisi over the course of the championships. If Townsville are a serious contender, it will be on the back of consistent performances from Pennisi.
Lloyd McVeigh (Gold Coast)
Lloyd McVeigh has tremendous physical attributes for a wing, including elite foot speed, strength, size and aerobic conditioning. McVeigh has an outstanding competitive motor and a great ability to finish through contact around the rim. McVeigh has been impactful during the BQJBC season and will look to carry that form into this tournament. Having taken his game to new heights in the past 12 months, this will be another opportunity for Lloyd to put his abilities on display.
Reegan Trego (Logan)
Reegan Trego comes into this tournament on the back on some promising form in recent BQJBC games. Trego has a very quick first step and is difficult to contain in a 1 on 1 setting. He is a handy 2-way player that has the strength to defend multiple positions. Trego is a player that offers a complete skill package, having the ability to do a number of different things to impact the course of a basketball game. Reegan will be looking to stamp his authority on this competition as one of its better players.
Under 16 Girls – Division 1
Chailee Ward (Townsville)
Commonly understood to be the best shooter in the age group, Ward has a chance to demonstrate that shooting ability against the states top teams. Ward is the leader of a very formidable Townsville Flames outfit, who completely dominated their opposition during the QNJBC competition. Ward has a high basketball IQ and operates the point guard position with great decision-making and ball security. Ward is surrounded by weapons and will have to find a healthy balance of play making for herself and her teammates. Expectations are high for Townsville and a lot of that will rely on the play of Ward.
Shaneice Swain (Cairns)
Swain is arguably the most electrifying talent in the age group. Swain demonstrates an uncanny feel for the game, elite level athletic qualities and outstanding general basketball instincts. Swain is a crafty offensive player, who is a nightmare when she finds herself with space in transition. The Cairns Dolphins have plenty of individual talent, but will rely on Swain’s impact the most. When she commits to playing both sides of the ball, there aren’t too many better. Should they find a way to put it all together, Cairns could be a danger team in this competition.
Indi Bowyer (Cairns)
The second part to the Cairns Dolphins 1-2 punch is Indi Bowyer. Bowyer is a versatile wing with equal abilities on both sides of the basketball. Bowyer can defend multiple positions and has the ability to play 1 – 4 on the offensive end. Bowyer has experience as a bottom age athlete at the Australian Junior Championship level and will look to leverage that experience in leading her team during this tournament. Returning from an injury that has seen her miss some competition time, can Bowyer be the do-it-all player that the Dolphins need her to be?
Mary Barnett-Keresoma (Logan)
Mary Barnett-Keresoma is a physical presence that has the ability to dominant games from the interior. Barnett-Keresoma has a good competitive motor and is a player that doesn’t shy away from the physical contest. If that isn’t enough to contend with, she has a sound offensive mid-range game to counter her abilities around the basket. Mary is going to garner plenty of attention and deservedly so. How far can she lead a strong Logan outfit?
Katie Deeble (North Gold Coast)
Katie Deeble has an elite Basketball IQ, matched by her high relentless work rate. Whilst smaller in stature, she is a competitive warrior and someone that leads her team from the front. Deeble is a great on-ball defender and is going to trouble plenty of opposition guards over the course of the tournament. Deeble plays with a good balance between asserting herself and incorporating her teammates. In a tournament full of quality guard play, expect Deeble to be near the top of the list.