Basketball Australia’s High Performance team have offered scholarships to six junior athletes to join the women’s Centre of Excellence (CoE) program at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).

Representing Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania, the mid-year scholarship recipients will begin their six month training program this July.

The athletes include Jayda Clark (WA), Dallas Loughridge (VIC), Ella Gordon (QLD), Isla Juffermans (NSW), Jessica Petrie (QLD) and Rubi Gray (TAS).

CoE Women’s Head Coach, Kristen Veal is excited about the potential coming through the system.

“The new intake boasts huge diversity in talent, skill, size and personality. We are excited to see these young athletes immerse themselves in the daily training environment as they start the next phase of their basketball and life journey.

It is important to recognise the continued hard work of the state High Performance programs in identifying, developing and providing opportunities to these young players, to the level that they are recognised for a CoE scholarship.”

AIS programs have produced a wave of talent represented at both national and international leagues  including the likes of Australian Opals Jenna O’Hea, Liz Cambage and Bec Allen to name a few, and young Queenslander Jessica Petrie is up for the challenge.

“I was shocked when I first heard the news, but once I processed it all I became really excited. I feel extremely grateful to be given the opportunity to go to a place that has produced so many great players that I look up to.

I know it is going to be a challenging environment competing against the best girls every day but it is something I’m really looking forward to.”

The six recipients will commence their training next month.