UNDER 18s Mildura basketballer Alexandra Leng has been selected to represent Victoria Country at the National Championships to be held this year.

In what Leng (PICTURED) described as her biggest fulfillment in the sport, she said the news she made the team still seems surreal.

“I’m overjoyed and so excited,” Leng told the ‘Weekly after the announcement.

“And it’s crazy to see how much love and support I’ve gained from it.”

Leng started playing basketball at age eight.

“I was introduced to the local club Alcheringa through the mini ball program,” she explained.

“This is when I was coached by Damian Pattern.

“Over six seasons he was my coach.

“This is when I started to fall in love with the game.

“He was the one who encouraged me to start looking at trying out for State.”

Leng’s Dad, Tim, and Mum, Josie, introduced her to sport from a young age – basketball, football and netball, but Leng said they are passionate about team sport in general.

“So I have grown up around and been surrounded by community sport,” Leng said.

Leng currently plays for Alcheringa in the Premier League locally, a team that has allowed her to keep developing her knowledge and skills.

“I’m playing with such a great group of girls and learning off the likes of Mikalya Herman and Vanessa Powers,” Leng said.

“I’m also lucky enough to be playing with one of my best friends Ava Zadow.

“We both started together and we have played right through our local, representative and Victoria Country games of basketball and netball together.

“Thanks to her I have enjoyed every moment.”

Leng didn’t join the Heat until she was 12, playing bottom age Under 14s.

She was coached by Alan Morris, who has also been a great mentor to her.

“I’ve been lucky enough to have great coaching starting from Alan Morris, Tony Jones through to my most recent coaches Mahaela Jackson and Jason Spratt,” she said.

“These people have been such a positive influence in my basketball life.”

Asked what she loves most about basketball, Leng said she can’t pinpoint one thing.

“I think it’s the atmosphere in whole,” she said.

“The feeling when you first walk onto the court with your team mates.

“It’s the determination, frustration, happiness.

“All of this makes a good game and that’s what I love.

“Also another aspect I love is how basketball is an all round game offering not just offence but defence, which is one of my favourite parts to the game.”

At the State Championships, Leng said she hopes to make some life long friends, and to build some new connections.

She also said having the opportunity to be coached by some of the best coaches in the State, and to learn off them is an amazing opportunity, along with being exposed to an elite program.

Leng said her future is unknown within the sport – and that is what makes the next chapter so exciting.

“My basketball goal is to grow as a player so developing and gaining new skills,” she said.

“As for the future, I haven’t really looked that far.

“But not knowing what’s going to happen next is the most exciting part.

“All I know is that I want to continue to love the game and keep playing the best basketball I can.”

– ZOEY ANDREWS