Why Lady Bandit Montana is a real Gem on the basketball court

HAVING A BALL: Lady Bandit Montana Farrah-Seaton won bronze with the Australian Gems in Russia. Picture: ELENOR TEDENBORG

HAVING A BALL: Lady Bandit Montana Farrah-Seaton won bronze with the Australian Gems in Russia. Picture: ELENOR TEDENBORG

WHEN you have Lauren Jackson as a babysitter growing up, it’s only natural that you’ll end up playing basketball.

At a high level, too.

Montana Farrah-Seaton has been punching above her weight on the basketball court for a long time now and the 19-year-old Lady Bandits star is showing no signs of slowing down.

Farrah-Seaton was a member of the Australian under-19 Gems outfit that won gold at the Oceania Pacific Youth Championships and then beat Spain in the bronze medal playoff at the World Championships.

The 178cm forward was used as an impact player by coach Paul Goriss in Russia and said it was a thrill to play against the world’s best teenage basketballers.

“I’ve been playing against women for pretty much my whole career – I have been playing for the Lady Bandits since I was 13,” she said.

“I’ve got used to that physicality but it’s different playing against girls who are the best in the world in your age group.

“You get to see the skill level and different style that each country plays so it’s a matter of adapting to USA plays different to how Spain plays to how China plays.

“Physically it was fine, it was more mentally trying to make sure I was in the game."

Farrah-Seaton, who is a full-time model for Chadwick's, is about to start studying to become a personal trainer and hopes to open her own gym in Albury-Wodonga or wherever basketball takes her.

She has spoken to WNBL clubs about training and would jump at the opportunity to take the next step in her career.

“I’d love to play in the best competition in Australia,” she said.

“Basketball is a career you can’t play for the rest of your life so you’ve really got to take it by the horns because you never know when a career-ending injury might hit you."

No one knows that better than Jackson, who is battling a serious knee injury as she races to be fit for the Rio Olympics.

“Our mums played together back in the day and my mum used to babysit her and Lauren used to look after me,” Farrah-Seaton said.

“When I was growing up she was someone I looked up to and now that I’m a bit older she’s more of a mentor and friend.

“It’s been really good to have her around and I’ve been able to give her a bit of support with all her injuries as well.

“You just look at Lauren, she’s gone from a little country town in Australia to the best female basketballer in the world so that’s certainly a bit of inspiration.”

Farrah-Seaton said the Lady Bandits were set for a strong season under Jim Wilson and were “ready to change the culture to what the men have”.

Montana Farrah-Seaton in the action for the Lady Bandits, who she says are set to improve in 2016 under coach Jim Wilson.

Montana Farrah-Seaton in the action for the Lady Bandits, who she says are set to improve in 2016 under coach Jim Wilson.

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