Pictured after scoring 111 points for the Ballina Breakers during a basketball game in August last year and, far right, in uniform to play first grade for the Marist Brothers Rams in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League.
Pictured after scoring 111 points for the Ballina Breakers during a basketball game in August last year and, far right, in uniform to play first grade for the Marist Brothers Rams in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League.

League of his own

DESPITE not returning to play college basketball in the United States, James Whitby hasn't given up on playing the sport professionally.

Whitby returned from the Allan Hancock Junior College in California last month.

He is now finishing the season with the Lismore Storm in State League basketball and playing first grade for the Marist Brothers Rams in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League.

The shooting guard plans to move to the Gold Coast to continue with basketball at the end of the year and hopes to eventually play in the National Basketball League.

"The NBL isn't going too well with clubs folding but it's definitely something I want to get into," Whitby said.

"There was an option to go back and keep playing college basketball but I felt that two years was enough.

"The competition in the major cities here is similar to the college level I was playing in.

"I definitely don't have any regrets about going over for two years and I recommend it, for sure.

"They put a lot of money into it and it was great to be a part of something like that."

In a busy couple of weeks for Whitby, the Storm will finish their season early next month while the Rams have hopes of playing in the NRRRL semi-finals.

"We have to win our next two games and rely on some other results to make the finals," Whitby said.

"I played at the club as a junior and Dad is coaching reserve grade.

"It's always been in the family and it's only been the past two years that I haven't played."

Whitby returned after his first year of college last year and played with the Ballina Breakers in the State League.

He set a NSW point-scoring record for an individual basketballer with 111 points in a single game.

"I definitely learnt a lot in the US and added it on to my game," Whitby said.



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