Georgia Amoore will arrive in Ballarat with medal in hand and still buzzing from the thrill of representing the country on the world stage.
The school student and Ballarat Rush player helped the Australian Sapphires secure a bronze medal at the FIBA Under-17 World Cup in Belarus in the early hours of Monday morning (AEST).
Basketball Ballarat’s Nathan Cooper-Brown knows behind the scenes Amoore’s incredible achievement has taken years of hard work, focus and commitment.
Cooper-Brown, who was assistant coach of Australia’s men’s under-17 world cup team, has worked with Amoore since his arrival in Ballarat as a national intensive training program coach.
“We’re really proud of her,” he said. “This is not something that was earned any other way but through her own push for achievement.”
Cooper-Brown said FIBA’s Under-17 World Cup was now a legitimate pathway to the highest level of basketball. He described the scale of Amoore’s achievement with the Australian Sapphires as “massive”.
“It is an incredibly intense environment, it’s a physical challenge and for her to be in the 12 best players in our country in that age group and then to contribute to then being the third best team in the world in a basketball age group that’s highly revered is a really special achievement,” he said.
“And she has done it from a small regional town.”
Cooper-Brown can recall the potential of Amoore’s physical and offensive gifts when he first started working with her. But one of the key focuses through the journey has been mastering mindset.
“She really started buying into the program and utilising all the extra development opportunities that we provided… and added to that her desire to achieve those dreams and her coachability came an incredible spike with her improvement,” Cooper-Brown said.
“She is a fantastic example of what happens when you listen to your coaches, when you put in the work and you really strive for something.”
Cooper-Brown said watching athletes such as Amoore develop and reap the rewards of their effort was the best part of the job.
“When you work really closely with an athlete and you develop a relationship with them, there is no greater highlight as a coach to see that person you invested in achieve their dreams,” Cooper-Brown said.
“That is coaching, that’s why I do it.”
He can not wait to see what is next for Amoore.