East Blaxland’s Adam Lulka is fast becoming the gentle giant of elite junior basketball.
The talented 15-year-old power forward wears size 15 shoes — he has to order them online — and is a towering six-foot-six-inches tall.
The scary thing is he still has plenty of growing to do.
Built for basketball, Adam was selected to represent NSW Metro at the Australian U18s Basketball Championships in Canberra which starts on April 10. Yet he only began to play the sport “seriously” four years ago.
“I first played in my old school’s [Wycliffe Christian School] basketball team and a few of my friends played for the Springwood Scorchers at Blaxland, so I joined them and we made the U16s division four finals in our first year,” the Year 10 St Dominic’s College student said.
“I took a liking to the sport, I enjoy roaming under the basket and doing run-around shots in attack and I try really hard in defence — I don’t like any opponent getting past me.”
Adam’s impressive form in the past 18 months for his school (which came fourth at the National Schools Championships) and for Penrith’s U18s division one men’s team caught the attention of state selectors.
His preparation for the nationals involved training sessions every Saturday, trial games twice a week against local men’s teams, gym workouts and playing endless hours of half-court basketball in the front yard with older brother Chris.
Adam’s longterm goal is to play college basketball in America and make it in Australia’s top competition, the National Basketball League.
But for now he just wants to play well for Penrith and NSW Metro.
“Being 15 in an U18s team means maybe there’s not as much pressure on you than others, but you don’t want to disappoint.
“I want to become a key player, someone that can be relied upon in every game.”