Purser to make International debut at 2009 FIBA Oceania Championships

Basketball Australia announced this week that Ben Purser of Perry Lakes Hawks SBL team will represent Australia at the 2009 FIBA Oceania Championships.

Ben will make his debut into international basketball as a member of the Australian team for the championships, competing against teams from eight federations, including New Caledonia, New Zealand, Fiji, Palau, Tahiti, Guam and Northern Marianas.

“Representing Australia means a lot to me and it has been my dream since I first started playing to wear the Australian green and gold”, said Ben on his selection.  “It will also be interesting to see how the game is played at an international level and whether the game styles of the international teams differs a great deal from the way we play in Australia.”

The championships will be held in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands from the 20th-28th of June.  Ben will depart Perth to meet the rest of the team in Sydney on Thursday the 18th June before travelling to Saipan.

The chosen team is an Under 20s side, which Ben acknowledges will provide a challenge when they come up against the national men’s teams from the competing countries. Whilst adjusting to new team members will further this challenge, Ben sees the positives of the tough contest:

“Playing against (the other Australian team members) in National Championships and taking into account the general characteristics of Australian basketball teams, I believe our strengths as a team will be our ability to play gritty team defence as well as really pushing it in transition to get quick, easy baskets. We will have youth on our side!” said Ben.

The selection of the Under 20s side will allow many young players the opportunity to gain invaluable experience and further their development into senior leagues.

“I have always loved the opportunity to play under different coaches in different teams as I feel you always take out of it something that will assist you in the development of your game,” Ben said. “I'm hoping the experience of playing under some of the best coaches in Australia and with other talented players will help me improve as a basketball player.”

The Saipan Grand Hotel has been named as the Athlete Village for the championships and the hotel will house all players and coaches, as well as team officials and FIBA Oceania personnel.

The Northern Mariana Islands consist of fifteen islands in the Pacific Ocean, northeast of Australia.

Article by Lyndsay Pekin


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