COLLEGE TEAM HOOP DREAMS: Elite player Robert Linton has founded a new pathways program to allow rural and regional basketballers an opportunity to progress their skills to enable them to play at US and Canadian colleges. Photo: Christopher Chan.
COLLEGE TEAM HOOP DREAMS: Elite player Robert Linton has founded a new pathways program to allow rural and regional basketballers an opportunity to progress their skills to enable them to play at US and Canadian colleges. Photo: Christopher Chan.

Goals to play college basketball

"I WANT young players growing up in regional and rural areas who love basketball to have an opportunity to combine academic and sporting goals by experiencing playing in college teams in the US and Canada."

Professional basketballer and renowned coach Rob Linton, 30, said he created North Coast Basketball to offer a new pathway for athletes in Lismore and surrounding areas who are keen to experience the dynamic college basketball environment.

According to the National College Athletic Association there are nearly 200 Australians playing basketball in the US alone.

Linton said he wants to hear from students currently in Year 9, 10, 11 or 12 and have ambitions to play college basketball in America or Canada.

"North Coast Basketball is seeking expressions of interest to assist with trial dates and venue locations," he said.

"To make the coaching as affordable as possible I am dividing the areas we cover into three conferences."

He said the Valley conference will include Lismore, Ballina and Byron, while Rangers conference covers Port Macquarie, Bellingen and Coffs Harbour, while the Rivers conference encompasses Yamba and Grafton.

Linton said he is not planning on competing with established clubs or associations.

"Instead, I am providing an alternate pathway for players to advance through basketball," he said.

"So I want to work with and encourage all associations, coaches, and parents to get involved to shadow my sessions and ask any questions they may have and I want to work with local clubs and coaches and offer assistance in any areas they require help."

Linton said he has committed to the new business to help young players avoid the hiccups and missteps he made when looking to play overseas himself.

"Teaching basketball and developing players in the region that I grew up in is what I am most passionate about," he said.

Over the next few weeks Linton plans to conduct small group assessment sessions and rank players on their fundamental abilities and understanding of basketball concepts.

"North Coast Basketball will also be launching its own website that will host information including camps and clinic calendars, registration portals, college athlete profiles." he said.

"I'm aiming to keep it affordable and cost-effective."

For more information, visit his website here.


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