Asked to rep country

Love the sport: Jessica Relf has a passion for basketball and hopes to play in the United States. Picture: Anne Keen

Love the sport: Jessica Relf has a passion for basketball and hopes to play in the United States. Picture: Anne Keen

Gloucester’s Jessica Relf has been chosen to be a part of the 10 under 16s female players representing Australia country in competition in New Zealand.

After playing for the second time at in the  Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup, she was selected into the Australian under 16s girls country team in April. 

The 14-year-old St Clare’s High School student played for the NSW Waratah’s under 16s in the cup held in Albury over the school holidays. She played in the competition the year before with the NSW Ospreys in the under 14s girls’ competition.

The competition was held between teams from Tasmania, South Australia, New Zealand and Victoria. 

On Saturday, January 14 Jessica went for a two day training camp before games commenced on the Monday.

They had some hard fought games in some extreme temperatures but came out victors in their pool.

The team won their cross over game against New Zealand, but where defeated against a stronger South Australian team missing out on the gold medal match.

Victoria defeated them in the bronze medal match having them cover out fourth overall.

Not only has she been chosen to represent country Australia, but she was also picked to be a part of the Basketball NSW State Performance Program (SPP) designed to train players to their full potential.

Jessica started playing basketball in Gloucester when she was five years old. This will be the first year she won’t be playing in the local competition.

She has been playing representative basketball for the past five years, four years in Maitland and most recently with the Newcastle Hunters.

At the moment, Jessica is trialing for a place on the national under 16s team, where 10 will be chosen to play in a competition in Perth.

Jessica used to also play netball, but she prefers the game of basketball.

“It’s an all round post where you can dribble and shoot with contact defence.”

To continue with a basketball career, Jessica said she would most likely need to go to college in the United States.

“The best players are over there.” 

“I’d like to go to college and play in America. Play in the WNBA (Women's National Basketball Association),” she smiled.