Amey at eye of the Storm
GRACE AMEY represents everything that is good about Lismore basketball.
The 16-year-old Casino High School student is a product of the booming Lismore Storm junior basketball system and tomorrow her development will step up another notch when the Storm take on the Dubbo Rams.
For the first time the Storm women enter the NSW State League semi-finals and, against unknown opposition, Amey and the rest of the squad will need to be at the top of their games.
Storm coach Mick Willemsen has his girls primed and with his teenage tearaway he knows exactly what he will get.
Amey is a terrier on the court, a no-nonsense scrapper who leaves it all on the floor – and that is what Willemsen loves about her.
“Grace is a real fighter – someone who you can throw into any situation and be confident she will perform at her best,” Willemsen said.
“Her strength and energy allows us to use her in the starting five or for impact off the bench.”
Willemsen and his sqaud would go into the match with Dubbo a sight unseen.
The Rams are from the southern pool, meaning the two sides haven’t met this season – the only thing Willemsen knows of his opponents is that they have a top-10 scorer in Claire Hargreaves.
Shutting her down could be a job for Amey.
“Grace is from the school of hard knocks – she knows how to rattle her opponent,” Willemsen said.
“We have had good success this year by matching Grace up on the opposition’s best players – she tends to get the better of them.”
Amey’s basketballing story is one of hard work.
She has always wanted to make basketball her life – just ask her mother, Louise.
“Grace’s philosophy is that she doesn’t care what she does when she leaves school as long as it involves basketball,” Mrs Amey said.
In February she received a rocket from a New South Wales coach who told her she would have to lose some weight if her dream was to be realised.
Six months and 17kg later, Amey has a Northern Junior League Under-18 basketball premiership to go with her spot on the elite roster in the NSW State League finals series.
The Storm and Rams will go head-to-head at the Lismore Basketball Stadium from 5pm tomorrow.