Former Stawell basketballer Taya Chisholm will represent country Australia in an upcoming New Zealand tour at Easter.
Selected in the national Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup under-16 team, Chisholm will play alongside three other Victorians and representatives from other states.
The announcement stemmed from Chisholm's performance while representing country Victoria at the 2020 Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup in Albury last week.
"We were sitting at the dinner table and they started making the announcement of the Australian Country teams and I wasn't really paying too much attention," she said.
"Next thing I heard my name be called out and I couldn't believe it.
"We had to register our interest and availability to be on the list for selection. I put my name down and am so happy I was selected."
Chisholm's Victorian team went through to win the gold medal overall at the Country Cup tournament, a result she said she didn't "dare to dream" of.
"I feel I played better than I expected to," she said.
"I was pretty nervous while out there playing, but I just went about my game pretending it was like any other.
"I really enjoyed playing with players from different regions. It was a great learning opportunity."
Chisholm said the most important message she took away from the week-long tournament was to have confidence within herself.
"Getting up early every day and having to play so many games and not be sore, was probably the hardest part of the tournament," she said.
"There was a fantastic recovery program with things like ice baths and hot and cold showers.
"I enjoyed the professionalism of the tournament and the extra programs which were in place."
Chisholm has taken her basketball to a new level in the past 12 months. In 2018-19 season she was selected as an emergency player for the Victorian country junior cup team to this season, getting a "good amount" of court time during the carnival.
"I am really looking forward to playing basketball at such a high level," she said.
"Doors within basketball are starting to open and my hard work is being noticed.
"I know my basketball will improve by playing in these representative sides so I work really hard to be considered for selection."
The 14-year-old Ballarat High School student will concentrate on her position in the Ballarat Rush under-16 squad before flying out to New Zealand.
"We're playing in Bendigo this weekend for the first tournament of the season," she said.
"I will be taking it easy this week in terms of training to make sure I'm fully recovered from the tournament away in Albury."
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