Luke Travers - Flames Local Talent Prepares for International Tour

Whilst you're enjoying your Easter long weekend today on this Easter Saturday and planning how you are going to eat all of those Easter eggs tomorrow, spare a thought for local Rockingham product and 2018 Flames SBL Player Luke Travers who today will fly to Foshan, China as part of the Australian U16 Men's Team (or Crocs as they are affectionately known), which will compete at the 2018 FIBA Under 16 Asian Championships. Our resident part time journalist / part time WABL coach Travis Young caught up with Luke before he flew out, to get his thoughts on representing his Country, how he's finding being in the Flames Men's SBL team so far in 2018 and what his goals are for the upcoming tournament:

RF - You've really started to blossom at the next level over the past six months. What do you think has been the biggest change you have noticed in your game over that time and what do you still feel you need to improve the most on your own skill set?
LT - I’d say the biggest change I've made to my game is adapting to the physicality and constant training and playing at a higher level. The things i still want to work on is my speed, being a taller guard i think speed would be a big asset to my game.
RF - Having three WA players in a national team is a huge effort. Does having those familiar faces in Luke Jackson (Willetton) and Wani Swaka Lo Buluk (Stirling / CoE NBA Global Academy) make you more confident when heading into an international tournament?
LT - Yeah i think it does for sure, it’s nice to have good mates in Luke and Wani on the court but i think I've become just as good friends with the other boys from the other states as well
RF - Head Coach Justin Schueller has a wealth of experience, being a Men's Head Coach in the Victorian State League, Assistant Coach for Melbourne United in the NBL, as well as being the High Performance Manager for Victoria Country Basketball. What have you learnt from him so far and what feedback has he given you on your own game?
LT - Justin has been a huge help to my game. He has helped me utilise my strengths as well as understanding different things about the game alot better. He has also told me what i need to do to improve and work on my weaknesses moving forward not just with the national team, but in my own personal development.
RF - In your initial pool you will play Malaysia (April 3, 1:00pm WA Time) & Philippines (April 4, 11:00am WA Time) - do you know much about either of the teams you will be playing in the pool round? Also, the Top 4 teams from this tournament will qualify for the U17 World Cup which will be held in Argentina in early July. That has to be a huge incentive to try and get to the Semi Finals and secure one of those four available spots?
LT - We haven’t covered the teams too much at this time, we have a couple of days in China where we will train and go through the opposition scouting. Worlds in Argentina is a massive incentive to not only finish top 4 but to win that gold medal in China and head to World's as the #1 ranked team in Asia.
RF - Your first two games in the Flames SBL team showed everyone the talent alot of us who have followed your junior career, have seen for a long time. How did it feel to get a couple of games experience, play decent minutes and also a major role in the boys getting the win over Goldfields. Also, what more can we expect from you the more experience you get at that level and more importantly, how many more highlight dunks can we expect like the one we saw versus Stirling!?
LT - I think it was definitely a good confidence booster and gave me the chance to show what i can really do. I think you can expect a gradual improvement on the court and you can expect to see a lot more dunks.
RF - I think every Flames fan loves the sound of that young man, especially the Dunks side of things! OK final question - What are your own personal goals for the Asian Championships and what are the teams goals if any??
LT - My goals for this tournament would just to play as hard as i can and just try to play a big part in our teams success and our team goal is for sure to win that gold medal
Thanks to Luke for taking the time to give us his thoughts ahead of the huge trip. On behalf of the entire club, we wish Luke the best of luck over in China and for those wishing to stay up to date with how the Crocs are doing in Foshan, click on the link below for Play by Play access, Box Score results as well as a Live Stream link to watch the games LIVE!
FIBA Asia U16 Championships Website
Pic - Luke (2nd from Left) with the rest of the Australian U16 Crocs National Team last month receiving their uniforms at the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Canberra, ACT


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