While 2020 has thrown up more than a few curveballs for the Victorian basketball community Emily Sewell has managed to hit them out of the park, with the Ranger alumni continuing her training at the AIS and now committing to the University of Portland Pilots.
The former Youth League, NBL1 and Junior Ranger is thrilled at the prospect of being able to play NCAA Divison 1 basketball, hopefully adding to her trophy cabinet with the very successful Portland Pilots program.
Moving into the US College system wasn’t always a pathway Emily saw herself persuing but the confidence she has gained at the AIS has readied her for the adjustment to the elite sporting lifestyle.
“College was always a thing I was uncertain about”, said Sewell. “But once I moved to the AIS, living in an elite program and lifestyle, it made me realise I was capable of going to college and made me more confident about wanting to go.”
That experience within the AIS program has been huge for Emily as it has been for so many of Australia’s elite athletes. Learning advanced training methods and playing with Australia’s best young talent has been terrific for Emily’s game but what she has learnt about herself has been of most importance as she takes the next step in her basketball career.
“The AIS has taught me so many things so far but the main thing I’ve learnt would be just to believe in myself and not hesitate to try new things and make mistakes.
“I’ll be entering a new environment (in Portland) so obviously I will make mistakes, but being able to stay true to myself and maintain the hard work ethic I have and that the AIS has built in me will help me in this exciting opportunity.”
The journey to a US College program is a long one and requires a ton of hard work and dedication from the player, as evident in Emily’s case. Even with all of that effort gaining a spot is not guaranteed and requires a great deal of focus and support at each level of development.
Luckily for Emily she has had exactly that during her time at Dandenong with great coaches, terrific teammates and a supportive family behind her all the way. She especially credited Ranger coaches Tim Rapp & Michael Brookens for her personal development with both having coached her during personal & team successes along the way.
“I had so many coaches at Dandenong that helped me immensely with my confidence to play at a higher level then what I believed I was capable of, with Michael Brookens and Tim Rapp especially helping me with my game.
“Getting to train with and against the NBL1 team really helped me develop the confidence and ability to adapt and winning the Youth League Championship in 2019 was a huge factor in my success as it allowed me just to get out and play against bigger bodies and develop my skill set.”
While the immediate future of US College basketball is somewhat cloudy Emily is still thankful for the opportunity that the Pilots have given her and can’t wait to join them when the time is right. She is also thankful for all of the fantastic people in her life that have helped her achieve her dreams, from the DBA community to representative coaches to her friends & family.
“I have numerous coaches I could thank for getting me here, all my rep coaches and state coaches, Michael Brookens, Tim Rapp, Dave Barry, Michael Czepil, Ash Arnott, Kristen Veal, Matt Paton, Sarah Graham, Reece Potter, Lloyd Klaman, Jess May, Jenni Screen and numerous others.
“Also I am very thankful for my parents and siblings and extended family for all their support throughout the years, coming to watch all my games and always supporting me regardless of a win or loss.”
DBA would like to congratulate Emily for terrific success so far in her young basketball career; we can’t wait to see what the future holds for this Dandenong star! Another shining success for our elite women’s program and a tribute to all of Emily’s hard work on & off-the-court.