Testament to the quality of basketball players Australia produces, East Blaxland’s Adam Lulka has been snapped up by the University at Albany, State University of New York.
The 18-year-old who plays for Penrith Panthers and is in his HSC year at The King’s School, Parramatta, received three offers from US colleges, and after visiting the US earlier this month to check them out, he has settled on the University at Albany.
Securing a four-year scholarship, he will play for the university’s team the Albany Great Danes, while undertaking a degree, most likely in psychology.
Lulka was excited about his future.
“I can’t wait for it [starting at university]. It’s going to be the best time of my life, four years of playing basketball and hanging out with the guys there.”
He was impressed by the friendliness of the university’s coaches and said he liked the style of basketball played, which was very similar to here.
Lulka will take up a power forward/centre position with the Great Danes, making the most of his 203cm height.
He’s following in the footsteps of Springwood basketballer Angus Brandt, who got his start after securing a scholarship with Oregon State University.
“It’s a good foundation,” Lulka said.
“Colleges are increasingly aware of the talent in Australia. Going over there is a great opportunity.”
But before he makes his mark in the US, Lulka will be recovering from a shoulder injury sustained at the School Sports Australia Basketball Championships in August, where he helped NSW All-Schools win the national men's title.
He was subsequently chosen in the Australian Men's All-Schools team, which will travel to the US in December, but will miss that tour.
Lulka hopes to have surgery at the end of the month, and is looking at a four to six-month recovery.
“I will be focusing on getting fit again. I want to be 100 per cent for all that [going to the US],” Lulka said.
Although the injury rules him out of the Australian U19s team contesting the Oceania Championships in December, he’s still hopeful of being fit enough to be considered for the Australian U19s trial camp in April, where a team would be selected to contest the World Championships if Australia does well in the Oceania Championships.