Perth Wildcats academy player Keanu Pinder has been selected as part of the Australian Under 19 team to tour China later this month.
Pinder, the son of Wildcats great Kendal “Tiny” Pinder, is the only West Australian player to be named in the squad of 12 which will play against China, Lithuania and the USA, in the tournament which begins on April 18.
Perth Wildcats assistant coach Andy Stewart says the Lakeside Lighting SBL player will be an important part of the team.
“He adds an athleticism that is just exceptional, he is a once in a generation individual for Perth. A lot of work needs to be done fundamentally and strength-wise, but athletically he has been given a long body and some real quickness,” said Stewart.
“The fact that he is in the squad and they’re interested in him now makes me think he could go on to play in the FIBA World Championships. He’s only going to get better, and so over the next three or four months he will develop his strength, his skills and his speed, his awareness, so I think he’s a real chance.”
Following the tour of China, Pinder could be selected to play in a number of tournaments in the lead up to the FIBA Under 19 World Championships.
The Australian Emus play in a tournament in the Czech Republic and Lithuania in late May, and a four-nation tournament in Spain in June before the World Championships begin in Prague on 27 June.