WAGGA Blaze talent Abbey Morton faces more obstacles than her city rivals to fulfill her representative goals.
Ten hour return trips to Sydney. A shorter season in a weaker league. Less access to top level coaching.
But it's because of those challenges that the 18-year-old wants to take her chance after being named in the initial under-20 women's squad to play in February's under-20 championships in Canberra.
Morton, named in the Waratah League's all-star five after helping the Blaze defend their division one championship, stood out enough in trials to win a spot in the 17-player line-up, which is expected to be trimmed by another seven by the end of the year.
The forward has played for NSW Country's under-18s the past two years, but faces a more difficult task for selection given country and city players vie for spots in just one team in under-20s.
Morton was a reserve for the under-20 team this year and hopes to take the extra step in 2020.
"It's a lot harder to make the team this year. There's a lot of really good girls who have come up from bottom age, and other girls who played last year still there," she said.
"It's really hard to compare myself to a lot of the other girls because they're all playing quality Sydney basketball every week.
"They're playing in top divisions and getting trained by the top coaches. When I go to these camps I really enjoy training against such a high level.
"These girls only have to drive half an hour to the session and I travel five. It's a bit of a pain sometimes but I wouldn't do it if I didn't really have my heart set on the sport."
Morton is one of just six players from regional centres to make the first cut.
After finishing year 12 at Mater Dei Catholic College, she is unsure of her plans for next year, and whether she'll be available for the Blaze's quest for a third straight banner.
"I haven't even thought about what I'm doing next year whether it's uni (or something else), I'm still figuring it out."