Cronulla Public School have celebrated what they believe to be their first ever student to be selected in a state team to participate at a School Sport Australia event.
Basketballer Jesse Edwards was chosen for the NSW team after his outstanding performances for Sydney East at the NSW PSSA State Championships in Tamworth.
The year six student helped Sydney East win the state title after an undefeated tournament, beating Sydney West in their semi-final by 11 points before downing Sydney South West by 16 in the grand final.
Jesse, who at 12-years-old already represents Sutherland’s under-14s division one representative team, was a standout performer at the carnival.
He will also have a familiar face with him when the NSW team travel to Darwin for the national championships in August, with Cronulla Public School teacher James Dean named as manager of the state team.
Mr Dean, who coached Sydney East to their state title, told the Leader Jesse was an “exceptional” talent.
“I’ve coached him for a couple of years now and he’s improved in leaps and bounds every year,” he said.
“He’s so dedicated to the sport. He prefers to play as a point guard and control the game but he has the ability to play anywhere on the floor wherever the coach asks. He always does what is needed to be done.
“He’s got a great basketball IQ. As a player he loves having the ball in his hands and scoring points, that’s his main attribute. But he has the ability now where teams man up on him and double team him that he can find an open player.”
The state team will convene in Maitland, along with the girls NSW PSSA team, for a three-day camp at the end of July.
Mr Dean said teachers at the school had confirmed Jesse was the first athlete from the school to be chosen to represent NSW at a national event.
“It’s something the school is immensely proud of,” he said.
“We’re doing all we can to support Jesse as he chases his dream. He’s a very mature young man with a very bright future ahead of him. His dream is to play in the NBA and represent Australia at the Olympics but as a kid he is just so grounded.”