RISING STARS: Bundaberg Basketball players Madison Hard and Jane Lester have been selected in the North Emerging State teams and will be heading to the USA. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
RISING STARS: Bundaberg Basketball players Madison Hard and Jane Lester have been selected in the North Emerging State teams and will be heading to the USA. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

Bundaberg Bears duo to make a dream trip to the USA

MADISON Hard and Jane Lester have both worn the Bundaberg Bears uniform in the Queensland Basketball League so they know what extreme pressure is.

But the week-to-week grind of the state-wide competition was nothing compared to what they faced waiting to know if they had made the North Queensland Emerging Talent Squad to tour the USA next week.

After each of the three training camps Hard and Lester had to wait for an email to see if they made the cut

"It was stressful, I had to give my A-game every time I went because I didn't get another shot," Hard said.

"It was nerve wracking every time I went, but good because I got to meet heaps of players."

Hard said she was excited when she found out she made the final cut because after a lifetime in the sport getting to play in the USA was the highlight.

While Hard will be out to purely enjoy the experience during the 10-day trip, Lester is taking a different approach to the tour.

This year is Lester's last at school and how she feels after the trip to the USA will determine if she furthers her education in the college system or stays in Australia.

"I am so excited to play against the American girls and scope it all out," Lester said.

"This trip will be the decider for me whether I am going to do university or I am going to do college.

"One of the factors will be me seeing what vibe America gives me."

The trip will be Lester's first overseas and she said while she felt nervous about playing against the Americans she couldn't wait for her first game on foreign soil.

But for the pair it won't be all about basketball.

Hard said she was looking forward to seeing the sights and do some shopping at Hollywood, Venice Beach and Los Angeles.

Basketball will continue on the home front for the Bears and Bulls while Hard and Lester are away, with the nest two weeks being the toughest in the season.

Bundaberg plays a road-trip double against Northside (tonight) and Brisbane (Saturday) this weekend and the Bears' hopes of finishing at the top of their pool are on the line.

>>Click here to read the game preview for the Bundaberg Bears and Bulls.



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