Tom Fullarton is a rising star in basketball.
Tom Fullarton is a rising star in basketball. FIBA

Coast teenager has Boomers potential: Australia coach

BASKETBALL: Tom Fullarton has been touted as a potential Boomer before but when the claim is reinforced by the Australian coach himself, it's easy to get excited about the prospects of the Sunshine Coast teenager.

The 17-year-old has been training with the Brisbane Bullets and was on the bench for the team in its successful return to the National Basketball League during the weekend.

Bullets coach Andrej Lemanis is also the Boomers coach and he can see plenty of promise in the young guard.

"I think he should set his sights on playing for the Australian Boomers, for sure,” he said.

"And he'd be a very good NBL player but he should set his sights even higher than that and think about his opportunities to get into the NBA, given his athleticism and his ability to apply himself.”

Lemanis said Fullarton had "all the attributes that give him a chance to be successful”.

The towering talent captained the Australian under-17 side at the world championship in Spain in June.

It was then coach Mark Watkins told the Daily Fullarton was Boomers material.

Lemanis evidently agrees.

"He understands and reads the game well and he's really worked on his game where he's now more effective playing off the dribble. He's really improved his outside shooting and has become a very effective player at both ends of the court,” he said.

"That will only continue to develop the more he plays at higher levels and the more he continues to put the work in on the practice courts.”

Fullarton is set to finish his schooling and his training at the Australian Institute of Sport this year.

He could then return to the Bullets for the end of their season, again as a development player, and may be provided with an avenue to be there for the following season.

He's also looking at playing college basketball in the United States in 2017.

But Lemanis said the NBL was a viable path to the NBA, instead of going through the college ranks.

The coach will meet with Fullarton and his parents, as will college representatives from around the United States.

Fullarton himself relished his time with the Bullets on the weekend.

"The atmosphere was great. It was Brisbane's first game back (in the NBL) after a lot of years out of the competition and the crowd really got behind the team,” he said.

"Running out and having my name called out was a really cool experience and I was so glad to be a part of it.

"Being a part of that environment and seeing a lot of professional players and how they go about it was really eye-opening and inspired me.”

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