US calls for local basketballer

FORMER Luman Christie College Student James Laput has packed his bags and headed to the United States to play College basketball.

The 18-year-old centre was training with former Perth Wildcats assistant coach Adam Tatalovich who helped in get into prep-school in Florida where he was then scouted to go to Young Harris College in Georgia.

He will spend the next four years playing basketball and studying in America on a full scholarship worth about $55,000 a year.

Young Harris College is currently in Division II of the NCAA along with 300 other American and Canadian schools.

Laput is a 6-9 centre who weights 115 kilogram and describes himself as a great rebounder, who is good at finding his teammates on offence.

�What college does is helps you focus and teaches you how to be organised for everything that comes at you,� he said.

�I just want to take the most of this opportunity because this is a once in a lifetime thing and if I make the most of it things will come.

What Laput is looking forward to the most is the experience to go overseas which he hopes can one day lead to a processional career in basketball.

�I know I am going to go professional,� he said.

�I want to think forward as there is no point on thinking negative, because that way, you may become negative.�

He originally started playing basketball when he was 13 and a friend asked him to come down.

While playing, the coach of the Kalamunda Eastern Suns asked if he wanted to try out to play WABL, and from there, Laput has played basketball and even represented his state at under 16 and under 18 level.

While over at College, Laput will also be majoring in business administration.

�I would want to start my own business; maybe some little sporting business,� he said.