Manning River Times-Iguana Sportstar of the Week
Asha Lawton – basketball
Asha Lawton only started playing basketball 12 months ago.
However, such is her progress in the game that she has been named in the Australian Indigenous under 12 team to take part in the Pacific School Games in Adelaide starting next Saturday and running to December 9.
Asha is the Manning River Times-Iguana Sportstar of the Week, earning a $50 open order at Iguana. She was nominated by Taree Basketball.
The 11-year-old came to the attention of indigenous team organisers through her performances with the Taree Tornadoes under 12s in the Northern NSW League this year. However, she said it came as a ‘big surprise’ when she was told of her selection for what will be her first trip to Adelaide.
“I can’t wait,’’ she smiled.
Asha hasn’t been told yet what position she’ll play for the indigenous team. However, she isn’t fazed about playing any role on the court.
“Sometimes I play centre, but it doesn’t bother me where they play me,’’ she said.
Asha previously played hockey. However, her brother and a couple of friends joined in the school competition run by Taree Basketball last year and that spiked Asha’s interest.
Her performances there soon had her in the Taree under 12 side for the Northern NSW League. The team performed to go through the season undefeated on the way to claiming the championship following the grand finals at Port Macquarie in August.
Asha is now looking forward to next year’s State League campaign, where she hopes the Tornadoes will repeat their successes.
Asha said she enjoys the speed of the game.
“And shooting and getting baskets,’’ she added.
Asha is particularly thankful for the time, effort and expertise her representative coach Col Scott has put into improving both the team and her game.
Asha still plays in the school competition on Saturdays as well as Taree junior competition on Tuesdays while she also has to train with the representative side.
While she also dabbles in touch football, basketball is her main sporting priority.
Asha is one of a number of Manning athletes who will be heading to Adelaide for the Pacific School Games for sports including touch football, basketball and hockey.
Nearly 4000 students aged from 10 to 19 from 15 countries will be involved in the games in 11 sports.
Every Australian State and territory will be represented.
Asha’s fellow Taree basketballer Jannarlia Dumas will also be in the under 12 team to play in Adelaide. Jannarlia will be next week’s Times sportstar award winner.