Shep­pard closer to net­ting dream

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT - By DOUG BOOTH

DARWIN bas­ket­baller Jar­rod Shep­pard is con­tin­u­ing to fol­low his dream about play­ing the sport pro­fes­sion­ally, ei­ther in Aus­tralia or over­seas.

The point guard, who was part of the Ea­gles team which won their first Darwin Basketball Club cham­pi­onship in 13 years re­cently, has won a schol­ar­ship to the in­flu­en­tial Aus­tralian Basketball Sports Academy in Mel­bourne.

With for­mer ju­nior na­tional coach Guy Molloy as head coach and Alan Westover, who steered Mel­bourne Tigers to two NBL ti­tles, as his as­sis­tant Shep­pard will fine­tune his basketball skills at the academy for the next two years and also study for his di­ploma of sport science.

Shep­pard, 22, said he is ex­cited to have the chance to de­velop his skills at a new level.

‘‘I went to Mel­bourne last week and had to com­plete a pro­gram which in­cluded shoot­ing,’’ Shep­pard said.

‘‘ Then I was told I was ac­cepted which was great news.’’

Basketball has played a huge part in his life with his mother Mered­ith, a for­mer WNBL player with the Perth Break­ers, and his fa­ther Don, a suc­cess­ful coach, play­ing key roles in his progress.

A for­mer stu­dent at the Ca­sua­r­ina Se­nior Col­lege, he quickly es­tab­lished him­self in the lo­cal com­pe­ti­tion where he has played for the War­riors, the Rebels and, most re­cently, the Ea­gles, win­ning a to­tal of seven ti­tles.

His stats for the Ea­gles in their re­cent Cham­pi­onship win were im­pres­sive, in­clud­ing 22 points, three 3-point­ers, seven as­sists, three steals and five re­bounds.

Shep­pard cap­tained the DBA un­der-19 team in 2009 and was named MVP, with a game high 32 points in the Surabaya chal­lenge.

He also top scored with 19 points for the Darwin se­nior men at the Surabaya In­done­sia In­vi­ta­tional In­ter­na­tional Chal­lenge.

‘‘Mov­ing to Mel­bourne is a big step for me,’’ he said.

One of the at­trac­tions is a tour to the USA in June where the academy team will play against col­lege teams.

‘‘It was a dream of mine to play in col­lege but I am also look­ing to play in Europe.’’

Pic­ture: ELISE DER­WIN

Ea­gles point guard Jar­rod Shep­pard has won a schol­ar­ship to the Aus­tralian Basketball Sports Academy in Mel­bourne

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