Hoop dream needs assist

High goals: Mishael Kenneth and Bob Tuala are preparing for their US challenge. Picture: Marco De LucaTWO basketballers could miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime if they can’t secure funds to travel to the US.
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Mishael Kenneth and Bob Tuala, both 17, of the Gladstone Park Basketball Club (GPBC), have been selected by the All Australian Basketball Academy to represent Australia on a 30-day tour of the US during November and December.

The squad will be in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, playing against high school and college teams and attending a training camp at the Impact Basketball Academy, which is linked to the National Basketball Association.

The pair need to secure $6500 each by the end of October to join the tour.

GPBC secretary, Fiona Browning, said as the club was small it couldn’t fund the trip without help from the community.

Ms Browning said the trip could lead to further success for the boys through links to the NBA.

“When they found out they could be going they were absolutely blown away,

particularly because of the potential it brings. If they’re considered good enough there could be scholarships to American schools and colleges which link into the NBA.

“It’s probably the best exposure to get for an Australian, other than go to the Australian Institute of Sport.”

Kenneth and Tuala were selected for the US tour after showing their basketball skills at an invitational, elite camp in Melbourne.

Both have played basketball for about nine years.

Browning said they and the club were reaching out to the Hume community and the three tiers of government for help.

“We really need to have the first $3000 [each] by October 1. The rest is due by October 30 and if they don’t get funds together they’ll miss out.

“Unlike a lot of others, we’re a tiny little club in the grand scheme of things.

“All our kids have to work really hard. For us to get kids to that level is a really big thing.”

To help out with funding, contact Fiona Browning, 0414894258.