“Expect to be dunked on.”
That was the ominous warning handed down by coach Shannon Seebohm to Wagga Heat teenager Bailey Lloyd and his state teammates before embarking on a tour of the US this week.
Lloyd and his Basketball NSW’s State Performance Program team are currently in Indianapolis competing in the Adidas Invitational, and despite Seebohm’s grim warning, they have jumped out to a promising start.
Determined to perform in a competition designed to provide young players with a chance to earn US college scholarships, Lloyd’s side triumphed over the Truth 2018 squad 88-59 on Thursday (local time).
The local side will return to the court today in an attempt to escape the group stage of the massive 75-team under 17 boys competition.
Wagga coach Colin Reed said Lloyd, who is averaging 5.8 points per game with the Heat, had the skills and physical attributes to succeed at the collegiate level.
“He’s almost as tall as our centre but can play point guard or shooting guard,” he said.
“That means he can play all five positions within his age group.”
The towering local is also set to compete at the Bigfoot Classic in Las Vegas later in the month, a tournament which Reed said would provide his young gun with another golden opportunity.
“It really opens him up to that next level of exposure over there,” Reed said.
“That’s invaluable in landing a scholarship, whether its division one or division two.”