Popular Ipswich couple share love of basketball
AS regular representative captains growing up, a popular young couple were destined to become a powerful basketball force.
They have, in a multitude of ways.
Ipswich Force players Jason Ralph and Georgia Williams were recently engaged, building on a wonderful foundation forged through their love of basketball.
Preparing for a new state league season starting next month, Jason and Georgia are a delightful pair keen to serve Ipswich in coming months.
Ipswich-bred, newly-appointed Force captain Jason is preparing for his eighth Queensland Basketball League season, having come through the city's basketball nursery.
Townsville-born Georgia is bracing for her second season in Force colours having joined the women's QBL last year after returning from four years in the US college system.
Both players are 23, celebrating their birthdays a month apart early each year.
Both players were junior captains of their respective Ipswich and Townsville representative teams for a number of years at state championships.
Both players are guards who had stints with Valley City State University in the US.
But the similarities don't end there.
Jason and Georgia are terrific role models for other young basketballers in the way they conduct themselves and have so much commitment.
Although proud of her Townsville junior origins, Georgia has quickly embraced her new Ipswich home, where she's living with Jason at Yamanto.
"It's been great. Everyone is really lovely down here,'' she said.
With a welcoming personality, Georgia quickly warmed to the Force team in her first stint last season.
"I loved it . . . all the girls and the coaching staff,'' she said.
"The whole vibe that Ipswich has got, which is great.
"So I definitely wanted to come back.''
Jason is as fiercely loyal as any sportsman his age in Ipswich.
Although he spent two seasons at Valley City State University, he was always eager to help out Ipswich's state league teams on his return.
Fittingly, new head coach Chris Riches has named guard Jason as his team captain for the 2018 season.
"I've stayed loyal,'' Jason said.
"I'm happy with this group and really happy with Chris and what he brings to the table.
"Being a fairly young team this year, we'll have a lot of challenges but it's just not about this year.
"We actually have got a plan in place (for the longer term).
"We chat nearly every day about what's going on here.
"We are very open about it.''
Chatting to Jason and Georgia about their basketball, it quickly becomes apparent where the affable couple's chemistry comes from.
They met at the 2006 Queensland championships at Logan when Jason was captaining the Ipswich under-12 team and Georgia was leading the under-12 Townsville side.
As the couple recall, the Ipswich and Townsville sides they led both won state titles that year.
Their friendship continued for a number of years as they met regularly as captains at more state and national tournaments.
But it was when they reunited in the United States that their friendship blossomed into a more serious union.
"Being friends for so long, we got to know each other so well,'' Georgia said.
"We have a lot of similar interests and humour and fun.''
Former Ipswich Grammar School student Jason proposed to Georgia on November 4 during a walk along the Brisbane River at Southbank.
After an eventful morning, Georgia sensed what was coming as the couple prepared for a romantic dinner in a VIP suite.
As they look to continue their sporting lives as a basketballing couple, Jason and Georgia clearly enjoy each other's company. Smiling and supportive, they bounce off each other's personable traits.