Dubbo’s Will Howell (centre) with the trophy after leading NSW Country to the under-16s National Championships title.BASKETBALL
Local junior Will Howell has played a starring role during NSW Country’s title winning efforts at the recent under-16s National Championships while he has also scored a position in the National Performance Program (NPP).
Howell made the trip to Geelong earlier this month to take on teams from every state as well as New Zealand. And under the guidance of coach John Hargreaves Country returned home as national champions after defeating Victoria Metro in the final.
Fifteen-year-old Howell co-captained the side to glory, which began with five wins and one narrow three-point loss during the group stage.
The NSW side showed impressive skills at both ends of the court and proved too strong for much bigger sides as their aggressive style came to the fore.
The attacking style they played never crossed the line though and the NSW Country side received plenty of praise in relation to their professionalism, conduct and commitment.
Howell, comfortable at point guard, shooting guard and small forward, led the Country side for scoring with 119 points for the tournament at an average of 13.22 per game.
The talented St John’s student also contributed elsewhere and averaged 5.78 rebounds per game and 1.56 assists while his shooting percentage was 39.
Each day during the competition a player of the day was awarded and on the second day Howell received that accolade after a dominant performance for his side. He was the undoubted star of the show as he scored 23 points with 10 rebounds, one assist and two steals during NSW Country’s very exciting 73-61 win over Queensland South.
After coming first in their pool NSW Country then defeated South Australia country in the quarter-final before getting past fierce rival NSW Metro in the semi-final.
This meant they came up against the much-fancied Victoria Metro side in what was expected to be a hard-fought decider.
But NSW Country never gave their opponents a look in as they dominated from the tip-off and went on to win 82-63 with Howell contributing 15 points, three rebounds and one assist.
Howell’s efforts for Country and also his integral role in Newcastle’s under-16s Country Premier League winning side saw him awarded with a position in a squad for the 2014-15 National Performance Program (NPP).
It is a step up from the National Intensive Training Program (NITP) which Howell was part of this year, where he learnt under the tutelage of Australian under-17s coach Mark Watkins.
His spot in the NPP means Howell is now in with a chance of being selected for the Australian squad in 2015.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.
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