FOR Billy Parsons, a love of sport runs through his veins.
The 18-year-old's entire family is ingrained in the culture that is the Werris Creek Magpies, with his father, former Newcastle Knights prop Matt Parsons, the club's co-coach.
However, Billy chose a different path, opting to work his way into the Tamworth Thunderbolts men's squad.
"I played rugby league until I was about 14, but to be honest, I was terrible," Parsons told the Leader.
"At the time I was playing both rugby league and basketball, so Mum gave me the choice of which one to follow and I opted to play basketball. I still love my league and the Magpies, but I'm really happy with my decision."
The Thunderbolts have enjoyed great success so far during the Waratah League season, sitting third on the ladder with just one loss.
"As a group we are really close, train really hard and it has been good to see that pay off with some wins," Parsons said.
"Everyone is willing to do whatever they need to do for the team and we need that given how tight the competition is.
"I have been watching this competition for the last couple of years and I really think this is the tightest season I've seen."
Parsons said he was "extremely lucky" to have several experienced players to learn from during his first season in the men's team.
"At the moment I am the back-up to number four Chris Skilton," he said.
"It has been fantastic for me to have guys like Skilts to learn off.
"He has played a lot of basketball and is really generous with his time and sharing his knowledge."
On Saturday, the Thunderbolts will be out to continue their winning ways, playing host to the Central Coast Crusaders.
"You're never too sure what to expect from your opponents, but I am sure we will be in for a tough game," Parsons said.
"We're coming off a pretty good win against the Springwood Scorchers last week and I know the boys are keen to keep it going.
"I think if we can aim to do the little things right again, we should be pretty competitive.
"We are only about 25 per cent of the way through the season, but I think if we can keep sticking to our game plan and working hard for each other, we can go pretty deep into the season."