Sport­ing swap is pay­ing off

North Coast Times - - SPORT -

BAS­KET­BALL prodigy Brodie Ri­ach is head­ing to Amer­ica af­ter se­cur­ing a col­lege schol­ar­ship just four years into play­ing the sport se­ri­ously.

The 19-year-old for­mer War­wick Se­nior High School stu­dent, who orig­i­nally played Aus­tralian Rules Foot­ball, has been ac­cepted into the bas­ket­ball pro­gram at Sheri­dan Col­lege in Wy­oming.

Ri­ach said af­ter pick­ing up a bas­ket­ball at 15 years old that he had to learn the sport quickly, al­though the tran­si­tion wasn’t “too hard” be­cause AFL and bas­ket­ball had some sim­i­lar­i­ties.

“My pas­sion for bas­ket­ball de­vel­oped quite quickly be­cause I had an over­all pas­sion for sport in gen­eral,” he said.

“As I got fur­ther in­volved in the game of bas­ket­ball, I re­alised the fu­ture I could po­ten­tially have, pro­vid­ing I was will­ing to put the work in.”

Ri­ach played for the Perry Lakes Hawks be­fore mov­ing to Mel­bourne, where he spent two years play­ing for the Al­tona Ga­tors in the Big V com­pe­ti­tion.

While play­ing for the Ga­tors, he grad­u­ated from the Aus­tralian Col­lege of Sport un­der coach Alan Westover a for­mer cham­pi­onship coach of the Mel­bourne Tigers in the NBL.

Re­flect­ing on his short ca­reer, Ri­ach said he cred­ited his coaches for giv­ing him the im­pe­tus and struc­ture needed to pro­pel him on to the in­ter­state and now in­ter­na­tional court.

“The coaches down at Perry Lakes did a tremen­dous job in giv­ing me the at­ten­tion I needed in or­der to get where I wanted to go,” he said.

“High­lights dur­ing my short time play­ing bas­ket­ball def­i­nitely in­clude the des­ti­na­tions where bas­ket­ball has taken me.

“I have trav­elled to the United States twice to com­pete in col­lege show­cases in front of about 250 scouts and coaches across mul­ti­ple levels, and com­peted against the best the US has to of­fer.”

Ri­ach said his over­seas ex­pe­ri­ence in 2016 showed him what was re­quired of him to com­pete in­ter­na­tion­ally and ful­fil his dream of play­ing for a col­lege team.

“It was a real eye-opener for me to recog­nise where I was at and where I need to be in or­der to ac­com­plish my goals of re­ceiv­ing a full schol­ar­ship to play col­lege bas­ket­ball,” he said.

“Twelve months later I was for­tu­nate enough to re­ceive an­other op­por­tu­nity to travel across to the US and once again com­pete for one of those pre­cious schol­ar­ships.”

“Both Aus­tralia and Amer­ica just have their own styles that they play to.

“The US is a fast-paced game where as in Aus­tralia it’s very phys­i­cal.”

Now liv­ing be­tween houses in Alki­mos, Green­wood and Church­lands, Ri­ach will be­gin his two-year US schol­ar­ship in Au­gust af­ter leav­ing Perth in July.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d478580

Brodie Ri­ach has re­ceived a bas­ket­ball schol­ar­ship to the US.

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