Lineball de­ci­sion

Canning Times - - FRONT PAGE -­mu­ni­ d474056

He’s only 16 years old, but Luke Jack­son is fac­ing one of the biggest de­ci­sions of his young life.

IT will not be long be­fore Luke Jack­son will have to make one of the biggest de­ci­sions of his young life.

Luke, of Can­ning Vale, was just six years old when he fol­lowed in his older broth­ers’ foot­steps and first started play­ing bas­ket­ball, chas­ing it up just a few years later with a move into foot­ball.

It was not long be­fore it be­came ev­i­dent to those around him that he was a nat­u­ral at both sports.

Now 16, Luke has be­come one of the premier young sports­men in the coun­try in both of the sports he loves.

The East Fre­man­tle Foot­ball Club player has been play­ing foot­ball for only four years, but that has not stopped him be­ing touted as a po­ten­tial top 10 AFL draft pick in 2019, hav­ing earned a spot in the pres­ti­gious AFL Acad­emy next year.

He is also one of the best young bas­ket­ballers in the coun­try, earn­ing se­lec­tion in the Aus­tralian un­der-16s team to com­pete at the Asia Cham­pi­onships.

In just two years Luke will have to make the choice only a hand­ful of Aus­tralian ath­letes have made be­fore him: whether to fol­low his pas­sion into foot­ball or bas­ket­ball.

But for now, he said he was happy to con­tinue work­ing hard in both.

“I have al­ways dreamt of play­ing sport pro­fes­sion­ally and now more than ever I am go­ing to keep work­ing hard to make my dream a re­al­ity,” he said.

“Peo­ple are al­ways ask­ing me what sport I would pre­fer or would choose and I am lucky enough that both sports work with each other and are help­ing me to keep play­ing both for as long as I can.

“I would love to get drafted in the AFL one day or the chance to play in US col­lege bas­ket­ball, the NBL or to con­tinue to rep­re­sent Aus­tralia.

“I am re­ally thank­ful for hav­ing a fam­ily who help me with ev­ery­thing and coaches that help me reach my full po­ten­tial.”

Hav­ing seen Luke in ac­tion last year, un­der-16 WA Metro State coach Ty­rone Th­waites said he was one of “the most ath­let­i­cally gifted ath­letes” he had ever worked with.

“He is the best re­bounder his age in the coun­try be­cause his tim­ing is per­fect,” he said.

“He’s also in­cred­i­bly hum­ble, a trait that’s not lost on any­one who works with him.

“He’s got a big 12 months ahead. He’s well-placed to make the un­der-17 Aus­tralian world Cham­pi­onship team for 2018 af­ter his un­der-16 Aus­tralian team in­volve­ment this year and he’s also a pro­jected top 10 AFL draft pick, so he’s not short on op­tions.”

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son­mu­ni­ d474056

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son

Luke Jack­son: ‘I would love to get drafted in the AFL’.

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