Dream beckons as NBA scouts keep an eye on Hadley

Scotch Oakburn College basketballer Gabe Hadley, who has played  against teams from across the world in front of scouts from the NBA.

Scotch Oakburn College basketballer Gabe Hadley, who has played against teams from across the world in front of scouts from the NBA.

ENCOUNTERS with NBA royalty in Asia and America have Launceston’s Gabe Hadley thinking big about his basketball career.

The 16-year-old already has a healthy list of credentials in the sport and is beginning to attract interest from scouts in the US.

‘‘I want to get to college in America, that’s my main goal, and hopefully play well enough over there to get recognised so I can play professionally somewhere around the world and make a living from it,’’ he said.

‘‘I would also like to play NBL here and see where I get to from that.’’

A Grade 10 student at Scotch Oakburn College, Hadley was invited to attend a four-day NBA Without Borders camp in Taipei earlier this year.

He and fellow Tasmanian Tanner Krebs were among 50 youngsters coached by NBA players Ronny Turiaf (Minnesota Timberwolves), Nick Batum (Portland Trail Blazers), John Salmons (Toronto Raptors) and Cody Zeller (New Orleans Pelicans).

‘‘I knew the players but I only found out on the day that they would be the coaches,’’ he said.

‘‘We played a game between everybody and then the NBA players scouted us. Then you got drafted into their teams and they helped you along with pointers, things you do well.

‘‘I met them and talked about the NBA and what they do and it was really interesting to see NBA players in person. I was a bit in awe of them.’’

Shortly after returning to Tasmania, Hadley was invited to attend the Adidas Nations tournament at Long Beach City College in Los Angeles.

He joined Callum Barker, of Hobart, playing against teams from across the world in front of scouts from the NBA.

‘‘It was very intense, but a really good learning experience,’’ he said.

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