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Basketball - 12. May 2009.

Australia - Opals in her eyes

From www.ntnews.com.au
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Darwin basketballer Jaylene Bonson has her sights set on the Australian Opals after gaining selection in the Australian under-17 squad.

The 16-year-old point guard will attend a national development camp at Canberra's Australian Institute of Sport from June 15-18.

The camp is part of the selection process for the 2009 FIBA qualification series and 2010 World Championships. The granddaughter of champion Nightcliff footballer Joe Bonson caught the eye of national selectors at last month's National U18 Championships in Gawler.

Her speed around the court and ability to control the tempo of the game is the X-factor that could get her into a green and gold shirt.

An added bonus was the form of the NT women at the Gawler championships.

The Territory came away with two wins, including a breakthrough win over WA Metro to attract the selectors' attention.

Bonson is already a member of the Northern Territory Intensive Training Centre program and will be part of the NT senior women's team at the Arafura Games.

"I'm excited to be going to the Australian development camp and to learn from some of the best coaches in Australia,'' she said.

"It will also allow me to compete against the best juniors in Australia for my age group. Hopefully it's the first step in my ambition to play for the Opals.''

Basketball NT's ITC head coach Timmy Duggan said Bonson had been on the national selection radar for the last 12 months.

"It is to Jaylene's credit and hard work that she has been selected,'' Duggan said.

"She's got that something different the selectors are looking for, an ability to move quickly and set up play. The opportunity to attend the development camp will allow her to improve her point guard skills and overall learning of the game.''

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