Trent McMullan named to Australian under-17 team for FIBA world championships

Trent McMullan is off to Dubai with the Australian under-17 basketball team.

Trent McMullan is off to Dubai with the Australian under-17 basketball team.

WODONGA young gun Trent McMullan has been named in the ­Australian ­under-17 team for the FIBA world championships in Dubai in August.

Basketball Australia yesterday named a 12-man squad for the tournament after a week-long training camp at its Centre of Excellence in Canberra.

McMullan, 17, had enhanced his prospects of making the final cut with good performances during the under-17 tour of China in May.

The 191-centimetre swingman admitted the announcement still hadn’t fully sunk in.

“The training camp was really good, I went well and hopefully I can play my best when we get to Dubai,” he said.

“Time will tell as to how we go but we’ve got a really good squad.”

McMullan, who is ­playing for the North East ­Bushrangers in the Big V competition, will bring plenty of long-range ­marksmanship to the ­under-17 squad.

The year 11 student at Catholic College Wodonga said the pressure of competing against Australia’s best junior players had helped his own development.

“Absolutely, the higher you go in the rep system, the bigger the challenges,” McMullan said.

“I was comfortable starting out in rep but the further you go, the more you have to step up.

“Playing against the best definitely improved my game.”

Head coach Mark ­Watkins said McMullan was a deserving selection in an extremely talented squad.

“He’s really improved in the 18 months we’ve had him in the program,” Watkins said.

“He’s found ways to contribute and he’s a smart, tough kid ... he’s really improved his scoring ability.

“Great team guy, he knows he’ll play a role off the bench and he’s happy to do whatever it takes to help us win.

“My aim is for us to make the final and have a crack at the US, if they make it as well.

“We’ve got good team balance and if we can jell, we’ll give it a really good crack.”

The previous under-17 squad, a team that featured NBA draft prospect Dante Exum, won a silver medal at the 2012 tournament.

This year’s squad will head to France late next month for a pre-championship tour before departing for Dubai on August 3.

Australia will open its tournament against Japan on Friday, August 8, before games against France (August 9) and Canada (August 11) leading into the knockout phase and the final on Saturday, August 16.

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