There’s an old adage which says “if you’re going to aim – aim high” and that’s exactly what one young man from Gooseberry Hill in Perth, Western Australia, is doing.
17 year old Joshua Battle has set his sights on achieving a basketball scholarship to a US college, playing professional basketball and once his professional career ends he wants to coach the next generation of basketball players.
Now that may sound a bit ambitious to some people but Joshua is on track to achieve his dreams.
He currently attends SEDA Sport College, where he is involved in a program that is specifically dedicated to basketball and sponsored by the Basketball WA Sports Development Program which tailors a curriculum for Year 11 and 12 students to develop key employ-ability and life skills for a successful future
The college partners with peak industry organisations to provide its students with unique opportunities and experiences specific to their interests.
When Joshua applied to enter the college there were 340 applicants and he was one of 24 to be selected.
He will now complete his final two years of High School by obtaining Certificates II and III in Sport and Recreation and gain entrance to University as he works towards a career in basketball.
It’s fair to say that outside his schoolwork Joshua eats, breathes and lives for basketball.
Back 4 years ago, playing Junior basketball, one of his teammates, Kobee Ziedas told him that that he had talent and could go far and encouraged him to get in touch with professional coach, Warren Kuhn.
Warren Kuhn is an American basketballer who played all over the world including Australia, he fell in love with the country and one resident in particular, a pretty school teacher, and has been here ever since.
From the beginning, four years ago, Warren spotted Joshua’s talent and encouraged him. As a result he began training with Warren several times a week and at every opportunity would be down at the courts training or playing.
Warren Kuhn also runs holiday basketball camps and two years ago invited Joshua to work with the younger plays to develop his skills as a coach.
Joshua’s exhaustive schedule includes attending school five days a week, going to basketball training four times a week, playing on Wednesday nights in the U19’s and Men’s Open Teams and on Saturday he coaches the U16’s and plays with the U18’s and Men’s Open teams.
Joshua became involved with a new team in the local area, Spartans Basketball WA an U18 team, at the invitation of his friend Coby Freeman who also asked him to coach the U14’s team too.
Joshua loves the philosophy of the Spartans which is to build an inviting and safe culture for all to enjoy, a place for children and adults alike to thrive and improve themselves as individuals. Its mantra is that all players, coaches, parents and the Executive should show sportsmanship at all times, respect all those around them and that all players should assist the club in its fund raising efforts not only to benefit the club but also to support the wider community.
As the club prepares for its end of year fund raiser, U18’s vs the Coaches, Joshua is working hard to spread the word. This is a wonderful event and the winning team not only gets the ‘bragging rights’ but Funds raised will go to the Charity of their choice.
It is not just about basketball, he said, it’s about sharing our passion for the sport and helping others who are not so fortunate.
Joshua has also done “work experience” with Chris Walker at Embleton Primary School working with kids. He worked as an Assistant Coach and was mentored this year by Chris so that he was able to gain extra experience in the field of coaching. “I really enjoyed working with the kids – they were fabulous and reciprocated with genuine feelings towards me – it was a most satisfying experience”.
Joshua has all that attributes for a wonderful future in basketball. Over the past four years his height has jumped up to 201.168cm or 6ft 6 inches and according to his Mum, Paula he is still growing, albeit a little slower than over the past few years. But not only has he grown in height but his feet have grown too, as his mum, Paula says “I have lost count of the pairs of basketball shoes we have had to buy, no sooner have I bought new ones only to find he has grown out of them in next to no time – but it has all been a wonderful and satisfying experience to see him develop so well, not only as a basketballer but as a confident young man who knows exactly where he wants to go”.
Whilst there is no doubting Joshua’s talent on the basketball court he acknowledges that without the tremendous help and support he has received, none of it would have been possible.
“My great friend Kobee Ziedas kickstarted my career when he encouraged me to talk to Warren Kuhn. Not only has Warren been my mentor and coach for the past four years but he has also been a wonderful friend and male role model who has helped me develop a wonderful outlook on life. says Joshua
My program facilitator at SEDA, Mark Heron, himself a former student of Warren’s, has given me the tools to build on my strong dedication to basketball and his positive professionalism is an absolute joy.
There is always time to have fun with my SEDA class mates
My parents have also provided tremendous support and encouragement particularly my Mum. Not only has she fed me the right food and bought all my clothes and shoes but over the past few years she has driven me to every training session and every game and stayed and watched until it was time to go home.
I owe all of these people a tremendous debt of gratitude” he says.
Joshua’s talent on the basketball court and his dedication to the sport is a clear indication that he is well on the way to fulfilling his major goal and his big dream.