Top from left to right; Jacob Rigoni (Currently a Quinnipiac University, division 1 student athlete in the MAAC), Tyson Brazel (Currently at Bond University on Academic Scholarship, completing dual Law/Business Degree), Nik Desantis (completed a year at one of the top prep schools in the United States, now a key player in the Sturt Sabre’s Premier League team ), Ben Carter (Currently a University of Montana division 1 college student athlete in the Big Sky Conference) and Xavier Owen-Thomas (Currently studying Law and Medical Science at University of Adelaide).
Bottom from left to right: Alex Mudronja (formerly Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence scholarship holder, currently a division 1 student athlete for the St Mary’s Gaels in the West Coast Conference), Lewis Young (currently a professional AFL player with Western Bulldogs), Lat Mayen (formerly Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence scholarship holder, currently a division 1 student athlete for Texas Christian University in the Big 12), Angus Rodman (currently travelling the world and working for some of the best brands on the planet as a top model), Isaac White (currently a division 1 student athlete at Stanford University in the Pac 12).
These guys are all the stars of this story.
They were really the basis for developing this platform that has now helped a large number of South Australia’s best collection of athletes over the past couple of years in their pathway.
VIDEO: Video highlighting some of the male athletes we've worked with, including 5 players from this team. We now also work with female athletes thanks to Luke Allen.
Developing this article was a lot of fun. It gave us a chance to reflect on the journey of this team and we hope will provide a good read to all team members, parents, supporters and those involved, directly and indirectly, at Sturt Sabres and the wider Basketball SA community, with the journey of these great men. We also hope to provide an archive of this significant period of development of South Australian boy's youth basketball. The success of these young men did permeate and spread across the state and pave a path for many to follow (👉 Article here: 2018/19 season will be the most men in history at the Division 1 NCAA level, out of South Australia)
More broadly, it is a great read for coaches, athletes and parents to learn about what an elite development and learning environment looks like. We hope this will educate, inspire, inform readers all over the world with ideas for your teams. This article, like most of them on www.highperformancehoopsnetwork.com, was developed using our unique personal, real life perspectives and examples and relationships.
Personally, I hope my current team (quite a few good prospects in that team too) read this and learn from it, and all other teams I work with in the future.
Years after this team was together Tyson Brazel, currently on an Academic scholarship at Bond University, studying a double Law/Commerce Degree, sums up the journey and the value of being a part of an elite, holistic, learning and development team environment in youth sport:
"The 10 or so years that I was able to play with this group was by far the best 10 years of my life to date. We all had a genuine care for each other and were extremely successful throughout our time together. I look back on these years with fond memories and believe the experiences that I had with these guys has shaped me into the person that I am today. I had to fight for every minute that I got. I believe in some ways this has shaped me into the person I am today, strong, resilient and hard working in everything that I do."