Former Coffs Harbour Suns junior receives Basketball Australia scholarship

Isla Juffermans has received a prestigious scholarship from the A.I.S. Photo: Basketball NSW.


FORMER Coffs Harbour Suns junior Isla Juffermans has been offered a great opportunity to improve and enhance her burgeoning basketball skills in the nation’s capital.

The 16-year-old is one of six juniors who have been offered scholarships by Basketball Australia’s High Performance team to join the women’s Centre of Excellence program at the Australian Institute of Sport.

The mid-year scholarship recipients begin their six-month training program next month.

Juffermans’ talents were noticed after some outstanding performances playing for NSW Country during the recent Australian Under-18 Championships.

The young centre who stands 6 foot 4 told News Of The Area the importance of gaining the scholarship as she pursues her basketball dream.

“It means everything to me, it has always been a dream of mine since I was little and it’s a step in my pathway to become an Opal,” she said.

The Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence has been the world-leading junior development program since 1981, and is dedicated to the development of future Australian Boomers and Opals.

The Centre of Excellence has helped to develop a number of outstanding athletes, including NBA players Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills, Aron Baynes and Joe Ingles, and Opals superstars Lauren Jackson, Liz Cambage and Penny Taylor.

Centre of Excellence women’s coach and former Opals player Kristen Veal was excited about the potential of players like Juffermans coming through the AIS-based system.

“The new intake boasts huge diversity in talent, skill, size and personality,” she said.

“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 Centre of Excellence scholarship.”

Juffermans said she couldn’t wait to learn under the tutelage of coach Veal.

“I’m looking forward to learning more about the game, getting to be a better player under her guidance and working hard.”



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