9 May 2023

Griffith basketball star to tour USA after national championship captaincy success

| Oliver Jacques
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Mum and daughter on basketball court

Mum Kylie Coleman is proud of Timeeka’s success. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

Griffith’s Timeeka Coleman will tour the USA in November with an elite basketball squad, after playing a starring role at Basketball Australia’s Under 18 National Championships in April.

“My realistic dream would be to play the WNBL [Women’s National Basketball League], Australia’s premier comp. But my crazy dream would be to play in the WNBA [Women’s National Basketball Association], in the US,” she said.

Aged just 16, Timeeka captained the NSW Country U18 team at the recent national tournament in Queensland, which pitted her against the best girls in the country.

“They start with a big group of girls, then they cut down to make a state team – the Under 18 County team, which is everything outside Sydney,” she said. ”That group of 10 goes to the Australian Championship in Brisbane.”

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The highlight for Timeeka was nailing a two-point floater with seven seconds to go to give her team a thrilling victory against Queensland North in a mid-April match.

“Overall, we came eighth, it was a really good tournament. I play point guard. It’s like a playmaking position and a shooter.”

It’s quite an achievement for someone who has been playing the sport for only five years.

“I was born in Albury, but never played basketball growing up. I was into Irish dancing and a bit of netball,” Timeeka said.

“My uncle Mike Kelly is a South East Melbourne Phoenix head coach in the National Basketball League (NBL). He had a training camp, and I went along to watch and I loved it. So when I came to Griffith, I started playing for the Under 12s. It started little and it just got bigger and bigger.”

basketballer shooting

Timeeka Coleman shoots and scores for NSW Country. Photo: Basketball Australia.

Timeka is currently in year 11 at St Francis College in Leeton. She wants to be a PE teacher and plans to do her degree at the University of Wollongong, where she’ll be able to play competitive basketball as well.

Over the past three years, she has made several state teams and won multiple awards. In January, she was nominated for Griffith Junior Sportsperson of the Year as part of Griffith City Council’s Australia Day Awards.

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But the highlight of her basketball career is still to come when she tours the USA in November.

“A state coach reached out to me, and I’ve been asked to tour with a group called Aussie Basketball Travellers to America for three weeks,” she said.

”I’ll be playing in what’s called the She Got Game tournament, where you go to different colleges to play matches. It’s in November, when all the scouting happens.”

Mum Kylie is over the moon about her achievements.

“I’m absolutely proud of her. It’s been a lot of work, a lot of driving. We were taking her to Sydney every weekend, and lately we’ve been going to Albury. Her hard work has paid off.”

Timeeka will soon test her talent against the best young female players in the world, in the basketball heartland cities of Dallas and Washington DC.

“I’ve never been to America. My mum and dad won’t be coming, it’s just me, it’s so exciting,” Timeeka said.

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