Giant leap for Cronulla teen, 16, who scores top basketball scholarship

Standing tall: Isaac Humphries of Cronulla is one of the rising talents in basketball. Picture: Chris Lane
Standing tall: Isaac Humphries of Cronulla is one of the rising talents in basketball. Picture: Chris Lane

STANDING 213 centimetres tall (a smidgen under seven feet in imperial measurement), you cannot miss Isaac Humphries on a basketball court.

The 16-year-old from Cronulla is one of the tallest basketballers for his age and it's not only his incredible height that has been noticed, but his talent too.

He has received a scholarship from Basketball Australia to its Centre of Excellence and will head to Canberra later this month where he will be based at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).

"It's a great opportunity," said the year 11 Scots College student who will continue his formal education by correspondence.

Humphries said he was grateful for the scholarship to improve his playing career.

The centre court player is one of 10 players to receive the scholarship: five boys and five girls were selected. Basketball Australia has taken control of the AIS program to identify potential top-liners.

"We will play for the AIS against teams from other states," Humphries said.

The former Sutherland Sharks representative did not start playing the sport until four years ago.

"It wasn't until I was 12 that I started playing," he said. "I used to play most sports and I loved playing rugby league."

Humphries played in the forwards with the St Joseph's club in the Cronulla junior rugby league.

The young giant said his rapid height growth did not happen until he lived in Canada for six months, and that was four years ago.

"I had a pretty big growth spurt when I lived in Canada," he said.

Humphries, who wears a size 16 shoe, still loves his footy and follows Cronulla Sharks rugby league team. But his eyes are fixed down the track on a wide array of opportunities including a study and playing stint in the US.

"I would like to get into a US college," he said.

A career in counselling and studying pyschology also appeals to Humphries.

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