From playing under 12s in what was a small mixed basketball competition in Yarrawonga nearly 10 years ago the Wright boys continue their impressive record in the sport both locally and internationally.
Yarrawonga’s Lloyd and Liam Wright have dual nationality calling Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) home and in September the boys will again represent PNG this time in the Melanesian Cup.
This will be the second time they have represented PNG after playing impressive roles in the Pacific Games back in 2015.
The 2017 FIBA Melanesia Basketball Cup is contested by nations of the newly formed Melanesia FIBA Oceania sub-zone including; PNG, Fiji, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and Vanuatu. The inaugural edition of the tournament will be played at Port Moresby from September 26 to 1 October 1
Standing at 193cm Lloyd, 20, is noted for his, scoring solid defense and ability to shut down a team’s attacking play.
Liam, 18, who is slightly shorter at 186cm, is quick on the ground and has a deadly accuracy when shooting.
The boys’ father Noel told the Chronicle the brothers have always been fiercely competitive despite their laid back nature.
“You wouldn’t know by meeting them but they can’t stand being beaten especially by each other,” Noel said.
“This probably gives them an edge on the court.
“The Melanesian Cup games will be held in Port Moresby, which is great for Lloyd and Liam as they are already familiar with the area and will stay with family.”
The boys have already reached the highest levels of basketball in Victoria.
Both Lloyd and Liam are state representatives and have won most valuable player awards in the Wangaratta A-Grade Men’s competition and are key members of the North East Bushrangers squad.
Liam more recently was runner-up in the Northeast Men’s Country Basketball League’s Most Valuable Player.
The Bushrangers squad was established by Albury, Wodonga and Wangaratta associations to provide an opportunity for talented young country players in the North East to play basketball at the highest level in Victoria in the Big V competition, the third highest level of basketball in Australia.
The Big V competition is a semi-professional league with all the teams boasting imports from the USA.
The boys’ talent has also been recognised internationally. Lloyd was accepted in Division 2 College in the United States back in 2015. And now in his third year is hopeful of being picked up by a Division 1 College.
A slight set-back last year with a patella tendon injury had his coach - former Adelaide 36ers Coach Steven Spencer - advise him to take the year off, so he is aiming to make up for lost time on the court in his third year.
“I am confident in my ability to show I can get there, the division two competition is pretty close to division one and players in division two are just as good but have not had as many opportunities,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd jets off to the United States this week but will fly back to Port Moresby soon after to train and then compete in the Melanesian Cup.
Liam hopes to also follow his brother’s footsteps in the US and is currently applying for colleges for next year.
“It’s likely, I am hopeful of getting picked up,” Liam said.