Jannarlia Dumas jets to Adelaide for Pacific School Games

TAREE basketballer Jannarlia Dumas received an 11th hour call into the Australian Indigenous basketball team to play in the Pacific School Games starting in Adelaide this weekend.

The 10-year-old only found out earlier this month that she was in the squad.

“A player had to withdraw,’’ the Taree St Joseph’s student explained.

“So they put me in the team.’’

Jannarlia is the Manning River Times-Iguana Sportstar of the Week, winning a $50 open order at Ignana.

She’ll join fellow Taree basketball and last week’s award winner Asha Lawton in the indigenous team.

Jannarlia said she’s ‘really excited’ about playing in the Pacific Games. However, she also admits there's some apprehension.

She flies to South Australia tomorrow and this will be her first time on a plane. So Jannarlia admits to being ‘a bit nervous’ about the trip over.

Selection in the team to play in Adelaide caps what has been a busy and successful year for Jannarlia on the basketball court.

She was the youngest member of the Taree Tornadoes under 12s squad that dominated the Northern Junior League, winning their division undefeated. From there the Tornadoes advanced to the State Cup played in Newcastle, where they were beaten in the grand final. However, Jannarlia pointed out they were downed by a city side in the decider, so they can lay claim to being the strongest team in their division in the NSW country area.

Jannarlia was also a member of the St Joeys girl’s side that outclassed rivals at the recent State Catholic Schools challenge held at Goulburn, where they were the undefeated champions in division one.

It was through school that Jannarlia was introduced to basketball. playing in the Saturday morning schools competition run by Taree Basketball. That was three years ago.

She had to make a difficult decision earlier this year when her two preferred sports collided.

Jannarlia was named in the Tornadoes under 12s basketball side as well as the Football Mid North Coast talent identification squad. She wasn’t going to have to time to devote to both, so she chose basketball.

“I like defending,’’ she replied when asked her favourite aspect of basketball. 

Jannarlia plays in the years 5/6 competition in the Summer Series on Saturday mornings and the the under 14s on Tuesday afternoons. She also has representative training commitments.

Jannarlia is now looking forward to the start of the Northern Junior League next March, where she’ll be one of the more experienced players in the under 12s as the side chases back-to-back championships.