The Wright brothers Lloyd (17) and Liam (15) are well on their way to basketball stardom with both boys already reaching the highest levels in Victoria.FIONA BLICK July 22, 2014 2:23pm
Lloyd was invited to train with the Bushrangers by coaching staff in February this year.
He has had a stellar season being amongst the Bushrangers leading scorers most weeks. Liam also attended training with Lloyd and has been absorbed into the Bushranger Group. Lloyd told the Yarrawonga Chronicle the best thing about the “Big V” is that playing as a starting guard he is usually matched against the import.
“I have held my own and won the match up in most cases,” Lloyd said.
“Even at 16 or 17 you quickly realise that you are as good as anyone else out there; it has been a great experience.
“Travelling to Melbourne every other weekend and over-nighting for double header matches (Saturday and Sunday games) has been challenging.
“But that’s what you need to do to take basketball to the next level.”
Jacqui Henry, the Bushrangers head coach said Lloyd was a combination player who could cover the point guard, shooting guard and small forward positions.
“He was dominating in the junior program but took a few weeks to settle in playing with a new group of players and senior men,” Jacqui said.
“After a few weeks Lloyd started to become a player that the other teams were worried about defending.
“Currently in the team Lloyd is one of the main players I look to, to shut down the best players on the other team and to create opportunities for our team and himself to score.”
She said Lloyd had become an integral part of the North East Bushrangers as a consistent shooter and a strong defensive player.
“He has fitted into the team well and as one of the youngest players has earned the respect of all in the squad and other teams in the league,” she said.
“I am sure he will be a sort after player in the future.”
The North East Bushrangers was established by Albury, Wodonga and Wangaratta Associations to provide an opportunity for talented young country players in the North East to play basketball at the highest level in Victoria in the Big V competition, the third highest level of Basketball in Australia.
The Big V competition is a semi-professional league with the majority of the teams boasting imports from the USA.
Meanwhile Liam has recently returned from the week long Under 16 Australian Championships held in Geelong.
Liam was selected to the state team after elimination sessions held in Shepparton, Warragul and Maryborough.
The Victorian Country Squad had a good week beating the eventual winners NSW Country in the preliminary rounds before losing to NSW Metro in the quarter finals and Liam had a great week personally as a play maker and scorer.
Liam has been invited to participate in the National Training Program over the next year.
Jacqui praised Liam’s skills saying he was the youngest player for the North East and was a talented point and shooting guard who had proved he could hold his own against senior men.
“Liam has not played with the North East Bushrangers for approximately seven weeks due to making the Victorian Country U16 state team,” Jacquie said.
“He has just finished playing in the Australian National Championships and will be back with us this week.
“Liam is quick up the floor, has a nice outside shot and reads the game very well.
“Even though Liam is young he has earned his position and the respect of the team.
“I am sure he will be a dominant player for us next season and follow in his brother’s footsteps to become a sought after player.”
The Bushrangers are offering local youngsters the opportunity to participate in School Holiday Skills and Drills Camps.
Over the past school holiday break 31 local kids attended the camp held in Wangaratta. Lloyd and Liam were part of the Bushranger squad that trained and entertained the kids.
The Bushrangers hope to attract large numbers of Yarrawonga future stars to attend the next camp in the September school holidays; visit www.nebushrangers.net for more details.
This season Lloyd was awarded the Most Valuable Player in the Wangaratta A Grade Men’s competition.
Keeping it in the family Liam was awarded runner up.
Lloyd and Liam will be playing for the Wangaratta Warriors Men’s side over the summer in the Country Basketball League.
The Men’s Warrior side is a young and entertaining team to watch and attract a large local crowd to home games.
The brothers dream of playing basketball in the US for a NCAA Division 1 college team and after that, who knows?
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