Ipswich college's success no 'small' feat
IT IS time for St Edmund's College's basketballers to reflect on an incredible season.
Adding merit to the team's on-court achievements this season is the fact the line-up featured seven year 11 pupils.
Having excelled to finish second in the AIC competition and fourth at the prestigious Champion Schools Basketball Queensland tournament, the young players can hold their heads aloft with pride.
None more so than colossal centre Merrick Small, whose exceptional talents proved invaluable throughout the successful campaigns.
The ironically named Small stands at more than 200cm tall.
Remarkably, the year 11 student has worked tirelessly to come back from a serious injury sustained last season and return to his best.
After starring for Metropolitan West at the State Titles, the skilful big man played his way into a maroon singlet and was a key member of the Queensland Schoolboys' side that competed at the National tournament last month.
St Edmund's basketball co-ordinator Mark Aiken said Small possessed a high basketball IQ, soft hands and the ability to grab rebounds and punish opponents on the counter attack.
He said Small was a pillar of strength for the 1st V on the weekend, patrolling the boards like a demon and sinking buckets consistently.
"Merrick was awesome,” Aiken said.
"He was a real presence inside for us.”
With Small at the helm, the future of the basketball program at St Edmund's is in trusted hands.
The majority of the side will move into senior next year and be back bigger and better on the court.
Whether he is elected to lead or not, there is no doubt Small will wield great influence as the Ipswich College sets its sights on a gold medal playoff berth at next year's Champion Schools event.
Preparations will commence in coming weeks, with a performance review to be undertaken before players get back into the gym and begin building towards their goal.