Ararat's Fletcher Burger has reached a new high in his basketball career.
The 14-year-old Marian College student has earned selection into the Victorian Country under-16 squad for the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup and will be a member of the State Development Program Country squad.
After only securing an emergency spot in the last season, Burger used the vision of attaining a position in the squad as the driving force for his development over the past 12 months.
"As good as last year was, I said to myself I will do everything within my ability to get in next year," Burger said.
"I practised pretty much every day and went up to the basketball courts with my Dad would who rebound for me.
"Being listed as an emergency and part of the squad opened up a lot of development programs as well which I took part in."
Burger was selected after a number of tryout days in Ballarat which players were put through their paces.
"Last year I felt pretty raw coming in as a country kid and even some of their lingo was new to me," he said.
"I felt so much better going into the tryouts this year and felt more prepared this time around."
Burger said being part of the squad involves an hour and a half training of development training in Ballarat each week.
Burger also extended his knowledge of the game under the direction of the Ballarat Miners under-16 coaches after making the squad.
"I also travelled down to Ballarat for domestic competition on top of the domestic competition in Ararat and Redbacks," he said.
"It depends but three or four days a week isn't uncommon for us to go to Ballarat for basketball."
Burger said his passion for the game came from the team morale.
"I love the team environment and the ability to rely on your teammates and they can rely on you as well," he said.
"If you're having a bad game - coaches can bring you up to perform to the best you can be."
The Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup will be hosted at the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre, Albury from January 11-18, 2020.
"We stay in a share house with teammates which will be a great experience," Burger said.
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