By Jackson Russell
Wallan basketballer Maddy Ford captained the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup representative team to victory in their tour of New Zealand over Easter.
The team, filled with 14 and 15-year-old players from the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup played up an age group to win the Under 17s tournament at the Basketball Pacific Mel Young Easter Classic in Tauranga.
Ford’s team went through the tournament undefeated and sealed the tournament with a 77-58 win over Tauranga.Ford said it was a great experience to be able to head overseas to play basketball.
“It was pretty cool to be named captain. It was a really good experience, we went down to Rotorua as well and we had a good team, it was the best tournament I’ve been to by far,” she said.
While she usually plays as a forward for Sunbury in the VJBL and Seymour Blasters in the Country Championships, Ford played centre in New Zealand which she said will help her develop her game.
“I got to learn new skills so I can go back to my club and play the five as well so I probably know how to play all the positions properly now,” she said.
Ford will have a tough decision on her hands soon as she has been excelling on the hardwood and also on the football field for Wallan and the Calder Cannons.
After playing her first season of football last winter, Ford won the NFNL Under 14 Girls Red best and fairest and Wallan’s best and fairest.
She was also named Most Valuable Player in her VJBL grand final with Sunbury.
It’s easy to see why Ford looks up to Monique Conti, another dual-sport athlete, who plays point guard for the WNBL’s Melbourne Boomers and recently signed to Richmond’s new AFLW side.
“I like how she plays, she’s a point guard. She knows how to read the plays and I like how she does that,” Ford said.
While not ready to pick a sport, Ford said if everything went well with basketball, she would like to one day play college basketball in the United States.
By Jackson Russell