FOUR months ago Bathurst teenager Breanna Fisk had never played wheelchair basketball. Now she has four Australian under 25 caps to her credit and is hoping for more.
The 13-year-old was part of the Australian Devils side which played a seven-game series against Japan at the Australian Institute of Sport, the court time she was given acknowledging just how quickly she has developed.
Fisk explained her path to becoming an Australian representative began when she attended a talent identification day in Sydney. She had not previously played any wheelchair sports.
“I went to a Paralympic finder thing in Sydney and two people came over to me and asked if I wanted to try wheelchair basketball,” she said.
“They had maybe seven drills. Some of them were based on strength where you had to throw a ball across the room or jump as high as you can, they measured how tall you are.
“They thought I’d be good as I’m tall in the chair and I have a lot of strength in my left arm.”
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Since being talent identified in Sydney, the Bathurst teenager has participated in development camps at Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence to work on improving her skills.
In late January she was rewarded for her efforts when named in the 16-player Devils squad for the international series against Japan.
Despite her young age and being less experienced that many of her rivals and team-mates – who included Australian Gliders Jess Cronje, Georgia Bishop-Cash and Isabel Martin – she filled an important role.
“I was very excited and nervous, it was an amazing experience, it was the first international games that I’d played,” she said.
“I am the youngest there, the next youngest girl, the one who is closest to my age is 13 as well, but she’s three and a bit months older than me.
“We have defenders, shooters and a ball carrier – there are usually two shooters and two defenders.
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“I at the moment, I have to get into people’s way and stop their chairs so a shooter can come in behind me and shoot. I also get to shoot if I’m close enough and have the range or if I have an open position.
“I got my my first basket, it was in the last quarter of the last game, so it was really good. The Australian team were very supportive and helpful through my time there.”
From those who took part in series against Japan and the week-long camp staged prior, Devils coaching staff will select a team to travel to Thailand for the IWBF Under 25 World Championships in May. Fisk hopes that she gets the nod.