Samuel Burling, 16 and Logan Atkins, 17 feature in a Fox Sport documentary about basketball at St Edmund's College.
Samuel Burling, 16 and Logan Atkins, 17 feature in a Fox Sport documentary about basketball at St Edmund's College. Cordell Richardson

Ipswich basketballers make prime time TV debut

THE CAPTIVATING tale of St Edmund's College First V basketball team's 2018 season premiered on Fox Sports this week.

The Ipswich college featured in season four of The Season, a fascinating look at the ins and outs of student-athletes juggling a combination of sport, academia and life.

Despite the focal point of the show being basketball, it was the moments off the court that proved the most fascinating for viewers.

St Edmund's College Principal Diarmuid O'Riordan was delighted with the final product.

"What we like about it is that it tells a really good story about the boys, about St Edmund's College and about Ipswich,” Mr O'Riordan said.

"That's what makes it compelling viewing, it's very real that way.”

St Edmund's coaches Tim Fergus and Mark Aiken admitted watching the final minutes of the team's unsuccessful premiership defence was not the greatest moment to relive.

"When they showed us the preview with the boys and their families, you could tell that it was tough viewing for everyone,” Mr Fergus said.

Mr Aiken said the drama continued throughout the series.

"Episode five is actually even more painful than the first few minutes (episode one) where you see us lose,” he said.

The impact of the film crew having such an extended interaction with students was a big worry for the college when the initial approach to film the series was made from Nick Piper at Onion TV. With half of the team in their final year of high school, it became a priority that the production of the show did not disrupt the academic pursuits of the students involved.

"It was probably our paramount concern that if we did something like this, could it in fact derail them and be an impediment to them achieving their academic outcomes,” Mr O'Riordan said.

"So, we talked about it and said why don't we just allow Nick Piper to come in and spend some time just doing some filming.

"He (Piper) got to the point where he was able to produce 24 minutes of a story that once previewed and approved by the parents turned into a five-part series. We wanted it to be fairly real, and it is pretty real. The emotions are pretty raw.

"It's pretty powerful that the whole story is hinging on this experience of failure.

"But then it tells this amazing story about the boys preparing, and what the college stands for as well as the other things that the boys are involved in with college life that help to shape and from them to who they are.”