Tasmanian NBL team vital for young talent says Lucas Walker

Walker, a member of Australia’s 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medal winning team, last week signed with the Sydney Kings after spending the previous season with Cairns Taipans, saying he was “loving” his new working environment.

One of his stops during the Blitz will be in Devonport when the Kings battle new club South East Melbourne Phoenix, with the 34-year-old joining fellow Tasmanian Adam Gibson in hoping a successful Blitz is sending a strong message about how viable a Tasmanian side would be.

“How it works with other teams around the league you have development players on your team who are usually young guys and then they have other young guys who are training players.

“So having a NBL program they can be part of and practice with day in and day out, the young kids down there in Tassie don’t have the luxury of having that development all year round.

“Being around guys who are much better than you can obviously accelerate that development process and can help you get to the next level faster.

“As a 16 or 17 year old I think it would have really benefited me to be able to train against men, but that being said I didn’t spend much time in Tassie after that as I was off to the AIS and then off to college, but for those that didn’t have that opportunity, it would be the perfect situation to have an NBL team in your home state.”

Walker played for the North-West Thunder and Wynyard in 2003, saying his time on the Coast was key to helping him get to the AIS.

The Kings versus Phoenix game will start at 7.30pm.

The night before at Ulverstone, the Brisbane Bullets will host the NBL All Stars at 6pm and the Cairns Taipans will play the Adelaide 36ers at 8pm.

Tickets are still available for the Blitz. For details visit www.nbl.com.au/blitz

The NBL also confirmed on Thursday it would be conducting 21 school visits during the Blitz, including five schools on the North-West.

“As a 16 or 17 year old I think it would have really benefited me to be able to train against men, but that being said I didn’t spend much time in Tassie after that as I was off to the AIS and then off to college, but for those that didn’t have that opportunity, it would be the perfect situation to have an NBL team in your home state.”

Walker played for the North-West Thunder and Wynyard in 2003, saying his time on the Coast was key to helping him get to the AIS.

The Kings versus Phoenix game will start at 7.30pm.

The night before at Ulverstone, the Brisbane Bullets will host the NBL All Stars at 6pm and the Cairns Taipans will play the Adelaide 36ers at 8pm.

Tickets are still available for the Bitz. For details visit www.nbl.com.au/blitz

The NBL also confirmed on Thursday it would be conducting 21 school visits during the Blitz, including five schools on the North-West.

There will also be post-game signing and photo sessions after every NBL Blitz match.

A Tasmanian side would also be very important for the sport’s pathway in the state, he said. 
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