Rockhampton basketballers Briana Bailey and Jared Blanchard were selected in Queensland under-18 girls and boys teams after their performance for Rockhampton at the Queensland championships last week. Photo Guy Williams / Morning Bulletin
Rockhampton basketballers Briana Bailey and Jared Blanchard were selected in Queensland under-18 girls and boys teams after their performance for Rockhampton at the Queensland championships last week. Photo Guy Williams / Morning Bulletin Guy Williams

Bailey will suit up for QLD at Aus under-18 girls champs

BRIANA Bailey's heart sank when her name wasn't read out.

The 16-year-old Rockhampton basketball star returned from the Queensland championships this week with a maroon singlet after earning selection in the Queensland girls under-18 team to contest the Australian Championships in April.

But, she almost thought it wasn't the case.

Playing for the Rockhampton Cyclones in division two of the statewide competition, Bailey wasn't confident Queensland selectors would watch her matches and was resigned to selection in the Queensland North Emerging team at best.

Bailey starred as the Rockhampton girls won four of their seven matches at the tournament.

When her name wasn't read out in the emerging side, Bailey thought she had missed out completely.

ROCKY'S STATE BASKETBALL STARS

QLD under-18 team members

Girls: Briana Bailey

Boys: Jared Blanchard

QLD North Emerging team members

Boys: Damon Christensen, Trevor Corrigan, Zac Smith, Leon Christensen, Nick Magnussen, Malachi Shanahan, Bailey Meyers

Girls: Kaitlyn Hill and Sarai Power

"They (selectors) came to watch a few games but I didn't think they were too interested," said Bailey, who started playing basketball when she was seven.

"I thought, 'Fair enough -it is division two and I thought I might make (Queensland North) Emerging maybe'.

"Then my name wasn't called and I was like, 'Oh crap, I haven't made it'.

"Then my name was called first and I thought, 'Oh yeah'."

A Queensland under-16 representative in 2013, Bailey will suit up for Queensland at the Australian under-18 girls championships in Belconnen, Australian Capital Territory, from April 10-17.

A point guard, she is uncertain as to whether she will fill the starting point guard role or will be used off the bench as a back-up to Townsville's Brittany Fuller.

"She's a really good point and I look up to her - she's like a role model for me so I'm happy to play behind her," Bailey said. "Everyone says that I'm the starting point guard but I don't know."



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