GROWING CONFIDENCE: Ipswich Force basketballer Kane Bishop.
GROWING CONFIDENCE: Ipswich Force basketballer Kane Bishop. Megan Low

Valuable approach keeps Ipswich players improving

BASKETBALL: As a home-grown talent in the Ipswich Force team, Kane Bishop is making a valuable contribution in this year's Queensland Basketball League.

However, it's not only on the court that the former Ipswich Grammar School student displays his commitment.

He's in the third year of a four-year primary school teaching degree at USQ Springfield, also working as a manager at KFC Orion around his study and training demands.

At 21, Bishop is busy juggling everything, laying the foundations for a future career while enjoying his favourite sport.

"It's long days. I have training and practice in the night time but I enjoy it,'' he said.

"It's great. I just find time for everything and its worked out really well.''

Despite Force having won just two of their eight QBL matches this season, Bishop is far from frustrated or disappointed.

"It's been good so far,'' he said, preparing for Force's next game against USC Rip City at Llewellyn Stadium on Sunday.

"The group this year is great.

"We all get along really, really well and it's just for us to put it together.

"Once we do, we'll be really competing against every single team, even at the top of table, because we have the talent.''

In his sixth QBL season with Force, Ipswich-born and bred Bishop praised first-year Force head coach Chris Riches for his ongoing support.

"He is a good communicator, which at semi-professional level, that's what is needed,'' Bishop said.

"He expects a lot from us but he knows that we are young and sees potential in all of us, which is great.

"He has one-on-one chats with us all the time, talking about what he thinks we can get to.

"The confidence he instils in us is great.''

That was highlighted in Force upsetting the Brisbane Capitals in a recent game.

The Queensland junior representative said the next challenge for the young side was capitalising on those tight situations.

"Knuckle down and get it done and we'll be right in the game at the end of the game,'' he said.

Ipswich Force basketballer Kane Bishop reaches for the basket in his QBL match against Toowoomba at Llewellyn Stadium.
Ipswich Force basketballer Kane Bishop reaches for the basket in his QBL match against Toowoomba at Llewellyn Stadium. Megan Low

Bishop's main role is providing a steadying influence and smart decisions at key times.

"I just want to be one of those guys that's consistent, plays and fulfils a role and does what they need to do and contributes,'' he said.

The former St Augustine's College and IGS student started in last Sunday's 94-71 loss to competition leaders Townsville.

Bishop is enjoying playing alongside American imports Kyle Harvey and Garrett Hall.

"They are just great guys, they just go with the flow,'' he said.

"It's not like they get on us younger guys. They know there's going to be growing pains.''

Bishop has also forged a strong link to captain Jason Ralph who he's played with at Force and for one year at IGS.

Bishop expects another team-building opportunity against second-placed USC Rip City at Llewellyn Stadium on Sunday.

"Their side is very experienced. They have a lot of guys that have played NBL and QBL for a number of years,'' Bishop said.

But tough games are why he enjoys the QBL.

"There's no sure-fire wins in the league,'' he said.

"Every team has guys who have played at a high level.

"We need to put the work in every week.

"It's a challenge but that's what we play for.''

Game day

QBL: Sunday (noon and 2pm) - Ipswich Force men's and women's teams v USC Rip City at Llewellyn Stadium.