PICKING up a basketball was one of the best things Armadale student Blake Massey (16) ever did.
Two years ago, Blake, who has developmental condition hypochondroplasia, joined Armadale’s Saturday night Ignite Basketball program.
He had never played before, but quickly established himself as one of the best players in the in-house tournament, despite standing at just 132cm tall. After his initial success, Blake helped put together Ignite’s first under-16 squad and led the team to a semi-final appearance in their first season.
The following year, the under 16 team captured their first championship.
Blake’s talent caught the attention of Perth Redbacks scouts, who invited him to US College Scholarship trials at the Perth Basketball centre.
He has since gone on to qualify as a coach and referee, while emerging as a leader and role model for young men and women who attend his Ignite program.
Blake said he was now aiming towards WABL level competition.
‘There’s no limit to what you can achieve if you work hard at it,’ he said. ‘I just want to do my best and that’s been pretty good to me so far.’
Blake’s stepfather Anthony Kerr said Blake’s size had never been an issue when it came to achieving his goals.
‘He has a huge heart and maturity, with an incredible drive to succeed,’ he said.
‘People look at his height first but after they see him play, none of that matters.’
Through Blake’s involvement, Mr Kerr has joined the Ignite program to mentor and develop Armadale youth.