Standing just shy of two metres, or six feet, six inches in the old scale, it’s not hard to see why Brody Blackett-Gregg is one of the best netballers in the state.
Of course you need talent as well, something the 17-year old certainly isn’t short of.
In April, he will play for the NSW men’s 20-and-under team as they defend their national title in Melbourne.
Blackett-Gregg was asked to trial for the team after being spotted by one of the NSW coaches playing in a local carnival, but got a big shock when he turned up to the trials.
Thinking he was going down to trial for the 17-and-under team, he found out five minutes before the trial started that it was the 20s team he was trialling for.
But the Year 12 student took it in his stride, conceding that if anything it drove him to “push myself a bit harder”.
“I thought I’ve got nothing to lose,” he said.
The selectors liked what they saw from Blackett-Gregg, picking him as one of the side’s shooters.
The call-up will see him follow in the footsteps of his father, Rob Gregg. He donned the blue on several occasions, and even the green and gold.
Seeing what he achieved has inspired Brody on his netballing journey, although as Rob chimed in: “He’s got more talent than his old man.
“He’s got that natural ability,” he said.
And not just on the netball court.
Captaining the Tamworth under-18 boys basketball side this year, Blackett-Gregg was also named in the NSW Country under-18 extended squad.
Also a handy cricketer, he will on Friday night tear in for City United in the second grade one-day final.
Around netball pretty well all his life, basketball was his main focus – until now anyway.
Not that he gets a lot of opportunity to play.
The only really competitive netball is the local Thursday night mixed competition and the occasional carnival.
As well as being one of the youngest in the side, that is one of the things that makes his selection in the NSW side all the more impressive.
“They did try and suggest I play a bit of M-League (Mens Netball NSW competition) but it is a bit hard to get down there for that,” Blackett-Gregg said.
The side will have their first training session together in Sydney next weekend.
It will be the first of many trips for Blackett-Gregg over the coming months.
“We’ll be training pretty much every weekend until we go away,” he said.
“I’m the only one outside the metro areas in the team. The next closest is Newcastle.”
Fortunately he has his dad to help him with his own training back in Tamworth. Having been there before, he knows what is required.
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