SBL: Junior development program paying off for Perry Lakes Hawks

L-R back row to front row - Denzel Jackson, Mitch Clarke, Bella Green, Cooper Hamilton, Millie McCarthy, Adrian Nobensi, Samantha Ashby and Taleitha Valentine. Picture: Travis Hayto.
L-R back row to front row - Denzel Jackson, Mitch Clarke, Bella Green, Cooper Hamilton, Millie McCarthy, Adrian Nobensi, Samantha Ashby and Taleitha Valentine. Picture: Travis Hayto.

THE PERRY Lakes Hawks are scoring big with their junior development program.

The club currently has eight junior players aged 20 and under playing in their State Basketball League (SBL) teams, who all started with the club in Under 11s teams.

Of these eight juniors, six have represented Western Australia.

Women’s SBL coach Deanna Smith said there was a clear pathway for juniors to the SBL program, and the girls had grown in confidence as the season progressed.

“Our young hawks players in Bella, Sam, Millie and Tal have not only been a part of our quad but have played significant minutes in the WSBL competition,” she said.

“I see these young ladies as the future leaders and key players of the Lady Hawks.”

Men’s SBL coach Matt Parsons said the program structure exposed young players to training, skills and resources to better enable them to take the step up to the next level.

“Guard Mitchell Clarke and forward Cooper Hamilton ply their trade week in week out in the premier competition,” he said.

“Adrian (AJ) Nobensi and Denzel Jackson are two up and comers who have both seen some significant exposure at this level, and under 18s Dan Rogers, Nathan Thomas, Tom Thorup and Harry Imison have all seen time with our squad.”

The Perry Lakes Hawks have had a strong 2018 season in the SBL, with the Men’s team finishing top four and qualifying for finals, and the Women’s team looking to qualify for finals this Saturday night.