Fresh from competing in her second under-16 national championships, Makala Bingley is ready to take the next step.
The Launceston 15-year-old was one of the state’s most prolific shooters at the Gold Coast championships, collecting 23 points and three steals in a game against Western Australia to average 10.29 points and 3.57 rebounds a game for the tournament.
Despite finishing at the lower end of the table, Bingley’s state side was competitive in every match.
“It really pushes you when you come up against bigger and stronger athletes,” Bingley said.
“I always thought I was kind of tall for my age but when you get over there, I’m tiny compared to them so it definitely pushes you and you have to push above your weight.”
The Kings Meadows High student took up athletics at an early age and competed three times at national level before honing her focus to basketball a couple of years ago.
She has since represented the state twice at under-14 level and is a member of several state talent programs.
“Last season over the summer break, I think that’s when I improved the most - physically and shooting wise and fitness wise as well, so that was a big confidence boost coming into this season.
“(Where I play) depends what team I’m playing with - in the local comp here I’m a point guard or shooting guard, and when I went away I was that but also a forward.
“But I prefer playing shooting guard, I definitely like to shoot the ball.”
Bingley’s next goal is to win selection for a national athlete development camp, after which she hopes to play college basketball in the US and eventually represent Australia.
Helping her on her way have been a number of coaches including Darren Best and Brodie Clark.
“The past two state teams I’ve been away with, they’ve been really engaged with each individual person’s improvements. Last year for under-16s it was Sam Gruggen - he was a Hobart coach - but in that time the amount I improved was incredible.”
- Makala Bingley is a nominee for The Examiner’s Junior Sports Awards. To make a nomination, click here.