Sheppard closer to netting dream
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.’’
Eagles point guard Jarrod Sheppard has won a scholarship to the Australian Basketball Sports Academy in Melbourne