Best of U18's AJC talent selected for Asia Pacific team camp

Ten of Australia’s brightest young stars have been selected to take part in the third Asia Pacific Team Camp in Nanjing, China on behalf of Nike.

Held from June 15-18, this unique opportunity will provide players with skills and fundamentals training as well as team concepts and competitions as instructed by NBA coaches and players.

Talent from Australia will be joined by Chinese, Taiwanese and New Zealand players with all participants required to be under the age of 18. Alongside the assembled team will be Basketball South Australia High Performance Manager David Ingham, who has joined the camp as the travelling coach.

“The national coach [Andrej Lemanis] gave me a call and invited me to the camp and I couldn’t accept quickly enough,” Ingham said. “I’m very honoured and grateful for the opportunity.”

All ten selected players starred in the recent Australian Junior Championships (AJC), representing five states and eight different teams.

“Certainly those players are getting their just rewards by being selected for this camp. Being able to mix with different players and coaches from different countries will be an experience that will be very educational for them and benefit them greatly.” From the victorious NSW Country at the AJC’s, Matt Kenyon and Makuach Maluach played in all eight games, both averaging 13 points.

In the Grand Final, Maluach had a monster performance, recording 20 points and 17 rebounds while Deng Gak had 18 and 11 for NSW Metro.

For Qld North, Harry Froling had two triple-doubles on his way to leading the tournament in rebounds (14.3) and assists (four) while adding 21.5 points.

WA's Andrew Ferguson (7.7 points, 9.4 rebounds) was also dominant on the glass. Brad Rathjen was the highest scorer with 22 points per game, including a 38-point effort against Vic Metro where Gabe Hadley (18 points per game) and Andreas Panayiotou (13.8 and 9.7 rebounds) held their own.

Tristan Lloyd showcased his abilities for Vic Country with 20 points on 9-12 shooting against Tasmania while Jacob Rigoni reached double-figures in every match to average 19.5 points and 7.4 rebounds for SA Metro. Speaking about the camp, Ingham is excited about the opportunities it presents.

“We are always looking at things differently and making sure we are up with the latest techniques and styles of play from around the world. So one of my objectives is to ensure we are not missing something and if there is anything new, I can bring that back [to Australia].”

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