BASKETBALL: IT has been a month celebrating milestones for Clinton Savage.
Not only has the 17-year-old finished Year 12 but the teen has been accepted into the Brian Kerle Basketball Academy.
Savage was noticed by the former NBL coach through the work of the Blackwater State High School chaplain Anita Linke who contacted Kerle.
Linke, with the support of high school teacher Paul Stephenson, look after the Blackwater High School basketball team which is a chaplaincy program.
Linke said Savage's acceptance was a great pathway for the first basket baller from Blackwater to be selected for the academy.
Kerle was in Blackwater last week to meet Savage as well as holding some skills clinics and talks with students.
"He can be a very good player if that's what he wants to be, he's got the potential,” he said.
"I only found out about him a few months ago. I came up here to meet him and his family to give him information on what he's entering into.”
Kerle said Clinton would join about 35 specifically chosen players to complete two diplomas, learn about nutrition, participate in gym sessions and play 25 to 30 games a year.
"There's so much scientific things in sport now so we expose them to that now,” he said.
"They are due to start next year, it runs on the school timeline.”
Kerle said the players are chosen on talent and have to work hard once at the academy.
"They know that, we want to prepare them and get them to a higher level,” he said. "We are aiming at the Brisbane Bullets.”
While in Blackwater, Kerle took the time to work on basic skills with the players and said there was a couple of players who showed promise.
"I just covered the basics of the game - shooting, defence, team concepts and things like that,” he said.
"There was some players with potential, they were a great bunch of kids.
"The kids we've had the last few days have been fantastic.”
Savage along with the rest of the Blackwater team have just finished their season which required them to travel to Emerald to play each week
Linke said that level of travel was a big commitment by the team who had to fundraise in order to travel to Emerald plus any additional carnivals throughout the season.
"It's been a massive effort on their behalf,” she said.
"And we've just confirmed funding for two teams next year.”
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