After the announcement in November last year of BA's agreement with the NBA to launch an elite training centre at the AIS in Canberra, Wani Lodu Swaka Lo Buluk has been named as the first Australian to be offered a scholarship at the NBA Global Academy.
"I feel privileged to be able to compete against other athletes from different nationalities," said Swaka Lo Buluk.
"My expectations are to improve my basketball and to gain exposure to the world.”
Swaka Lo Buluk was put on the radar of the High Performance coaches after a strong Athlete Development Camp (ADC) last month while leading the CoE to a title at the Tradies Canberra Classic Tournament.
Nicholas Stoddart also starred at that competition and alongside Callum Beard, they are the two additions to this year's Centre of Excellence Men's squad.
"The thing that I like most is the opportunity to train and work in some of the best facilities in the world and against some of the best young athletes in Australia every day," said Beard.
"My main goals are to come out as a better player and improve my game. The competitive training is at another level at the CoE," added Stoddart.
Isabelle Bourne, Emma Clarke and Taylor Mole are the three athletes that will join the women's squad in 2017, having all been under the radar of High Performance coaches in their respective states and the Junior National Team Coaches since the 2016 ADC.
“My dreams have come true," Mole said. "It was even more special that the news came from the Basketball Tasmania’s Head Coach Mark Radford."
“Getting the experience of being here with other athletes and elite coaches, I would like to use the advantage of this program to be a possible candidate in the 2017 Gems Squad." added Bourne.
“Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence is a wonderful place with first class physical facilities, however it is the central and support staff that truly make the CoE an amazing environment for aspiring athletes," said Clarke.
The complete list of Centre of Excellence and NBA Global Academy athletes for 2017:
|Centre of Excellence Women|
|Centre of Excellence Men|
|NBA Global Academy|
|Wani Lodu Swaka Lo Buluk||9/06/2001||Australia||2017|