Vanessa shoots for success
THERE'S no place Vanessa Mullen would rather be than on the basketball court.
The talented Lindisfarne Year 7 student is a shining light for the Tweed Coast Slammers, playing for both the under-14 division one and under-16 teams.
She is also a member of the Gold Coast under-14 rep side and has been trying out for the Coast under-16 team.
It seems like a big task, but for this rising star, who has only just turned 13, it's all part of fulfilling a dream to one day play in the US women's basketball league.
“I first started getting interested in the sport when my dad took me down to the Salvos' Centre at Banora Point and I started shooting hoops,” Vanessa said.
“I have been playing with the Slammers now for five years and it's great fun because you do a lot of running and there are so many different plays to learn.”
Her ability has not gone unnoticed, with Vanessa picking up the Most Valuable Player award for the entire rep group in the past.
She was one of 42 girls selected at the State Classics in April to form the under-15s Blue Chip Development Squad. That squad has now been reduced to 20 and will be reduced to 10 when the girls compete for a position this Sunday at the Queensland Academy of Sport.
And while trying out for the rep side is all before her, Vanessa's focus is on helping her Tweed Coast Slammers' sides progress through the semi-finals.
“We start our finals matches in two weeks against Palm Beach and they are a good side who are a bit older than us,” Vanessa said.
“But we'll give it a go.”
The Tweed Coast Slammers have created their own little slice of basketball history with all seven sides playing in semi-finals in the Gold Coast competition.