Hassett shines for NSW at nationals

Adelong baller Amelia Hassett in action for NSW at the Australian under 20’s basketball championships in Mackay last month. Photo: Basketball Victoria.

Amelia Hassett has played a huge role in helping guide NSW to a fourth-place finish at the Australian under- 20’s championships in Mackay last month.

The 18-year-old, who was recently named in the Australian under 19’s extended squad, predominantly played off the bench for NSW, but her impact was spectacular.

In NSW’s first game, they defeated South Australia 97-43, with Hassett scoring eight points and picking up eight rebounds. 

NSW then defeated Victoria Navy 72-47, with Hassett again playing off the bench, before she starred against Queensland, scoring 16 points, registering 15 rebounds and an assist in the 83-65 win. 

NSW then lost their semi-final to South Australia 75-50 in what was their fourth game, although Hassett played 27 minutes and was arguably best on court, scoring 21 points, while contributing with eight rebounds and three assists. 

Unfortunately, Hassett and NSW just missed out on a medal in the third and fourth place final, when beaten 73-60 by hosts, Queensland. 

Hassett again featured strongly, scoring four points, while registering 12 rebounds and five assists.

The Adelong product took a lot out of the competition, and she said she enjoyed her time representing NSW in Mackay.

“Being a part of the NSW under 20s team as a bottom ager was such an amazing feeling and playing against a lot of older girls was such a great experience,” Hassett said. 

NSW went painfully close to a medal, and despite missing out, Hassett was still proud of her team’s efforts against the best basketballers in Australia.

“The biggest challenge would have been losing the semi-final to SA and having to forget about that game and try and focus on the bronze medal match,” Hassett said. 

“Even though we didn’t get the bronze, it was my first time playing in a medal match and first time coming fourth and it made me feel like all the team’s hard work and everyone’s effort paid off, and even though we didn’t get a medal, it still felt like a great achievement.”

Hassett showcased her potential at the competition, and she said she enjoyed her time on court, which made all the difference.

“What I got out of the tournament was that it doesn’t matter if you start on the court or on the bench, you always go out and play the best you can, and (I learned) that I play my best when I am just enjoying the experience and being in the moment,” Hassett said.

With a big year ahead, which includes potential Australian honours with the under 19’s Australian Gems and an eventual move overseas to play College Basketball, Hassett has been enjoying the step up against older players, and she hopes to continue her growth with the Albury Bandits in the NBL1 competition.

“It was a really good experience to be able to play against stronger women and I felt like I did hold my own throughout the course of the tournament,” Hassett said. 

“I definitely can build from it, as now I’m playing NBL1 with the Albury Bandits and playing against older women.”

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