UNDER-18 CHAMPIONSHIPS PREVIEW- NORTHERN TERRITORY

UNDER-18 CHAMPIONSHIPS PREVIEW- NORTHERN TERRITORY

In the lead-up to the Under-18 Championships and Kevin Coombs Cup held in Townsville from April 13-20, we preview the teams from all eight state and territories, continuing with Northern Territory.

Under-18 Men’s Northern Territory Team List:

Dante Ah Sam, Mitchel Brauer, Will Burton, Lucas Duncan, Daniel Gabriel Yak, Michael Gilmore, Dirk Lawrie, Khori Mills-Richardson, Ned Stevens.

Northern Territory will enter the Under-18 Championships with a group of familiar faces ready to try and shake up the 2019 tournament.

Dante Ah Sam and Dirk Lawrie return after competing last year and Ah Sam was one of the team’s most prominent players with averages of 13.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.

“This year's team has a good blend of top and bottom-agers and have had a strong lead-up with practice games against senior opponents and our Under-16 squads," said Basketball NT Pathway Manager Rod Tremlett.

“While the focus of NT teams centres around contribution at both ends of the floor by every member of the group, a couple of the great stories for our team is the inclusion of Ned Stevens and Will Burton.

“Stevens was selected to the Northern Territory Under-16's last year but fell ill a week before the Championships and was unable to attend.

“Now fully fit, it will be great to see the contribution he can make to the team as a dynamic small forward.

“Burton also sustained a Championship ending injury in the lead up to last years Under 18's but has developed his game in the Darwin Senior competition this year and hopefully he can replicate his fast-paced style of play in Townsville."

A number of players from NT’s Under-16's team in 2018 have made the jump to Under-18's including Mitchel Brauer, Daniel Gabriel-Yak, Khori Mills-Richardson and Michael Gilmore.

“Mills-Richardson is an Alice Springs-based athlete that had a solid Under 16's Championship where he averaged 12 points and eight rebounds while Brauer was selected to the Australian Development Camp late last year and averaged a double-double at the Under-16's," said Tremlett.

NT were unable to register a win at last year's Under-18 Championships but Tremlett knows the team is looking forward to the challenge of competing against the best athletes in the country.

“Ensuring we are able to execute our style of play under pressure from quality opposition will be key to the overall success of the team this year."