Country girls follow the same path

Laura Bamford-Cleland and Jessi Reeves have been selected to play for the under-18
Laura Bamford-Cleland and Jessi Reeves have been selected to play for the under-18

THE basketball paths of Laura Bamford-Cleland and Jessi Reeves have crossed once again.

Both have been selected in the under-18 Country NSW State Team but it’s not the first time the pair will have shared the court together.

The talented juniors play for the Coffs Harbour Suns in the under-18s as well as the Coffs Harbour Suns State League women’s team.

They have both played for the Suns since under-12s, both have refereed and have both been involved with the development of junior players.

To top it off, both girls were chosen to play for New South Wales in the Australian Junior Country Basketball Cup which was in Albury for one week in January this year.

On court it appears that Bamford-Cleland and Reeves are like peas in a pod but the backgrounds are slightly different due to age and school.

Bamford-Cleland is 17 years-old and attends Bishop Druitt College.

At 15, Reeves is the younger of the pair and studies at John Paul College.

Now they are preparing to play in the National Basketball Championships held in the Tasmanian town of Ulverstone.

The first tip-off for the tournament is this morning but it’s been a long road that the pair have travelled to reach this stage.

The pair attended 11 camps over the selection process for this team which has involved flying to Sydney then travelling to Wollongong most weekends.

All this while keeping up their schoolwork.

The huge amount of travel and expense to reach the national tournament has been worth it, although both admit it probably would never have happened if it wasn’t for the support offered to them by their schools, the basketball association as well as Clearview and Geoff King Motors.

During the week the pair said that they couldn’t wait to hit the court for the Country team but were adamant that any young players in Coffs Harbour who wished to follow the same path as they have should chase their dreams.

“Train hard, listen to your coaches and enjoy the experience of it all,” they said.

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