It doesn’t take much of the imagination to wonder why young basketball player Lucas Impey went straight to his parents when asked about his sporting heroes.
His mother Jodi played over 300 Big V games in Melbourne, while his father Christian played high school basketball in America and coached for over 20 years.
“I grew up on basketball courts around Victoria,” Impey said.
“My earliest memories are of watching mum play and dad coaching. I was always destined to follow in their footsteps.
Impey’s sporting journey began at the age of five playing in the under-8 competition at Melton.
He made his first representative team as an underage player in the under-12 team.
“I played with many teams growing up,” he said last week. “We followed mum’s playing career around Keilor, Werribee and back to Broadmeadows.
“Right now I’m playing with Ballarat in the NBL [National Basketball League] 1 [South] and the [Big V] youth league team.
Impey may be the youngest player on the team and one of the youngest in the competition, but he doesn’t look out of place.
It measures a little less than 200 centimeters.
“I hope to gain a few more inches over the next few years to make myself more versatile as a basketball player,” he said. “If I do, I can play in any position.”
Impey is a regular part of regional and Victorian representative teams, but he takes nothing for granted.
He missed five months of basketball in 2018 and 2019 due to a broken tibia. It took him another six months to regain his full strength.
COVID stopped the 2020 season and impacted 2021.
When basketball fully returned, Impey had moved up to the under-18s, where he immediately impressed.
“I’ve been selected for the Victorian Country team,” he said. “We finished the carnival in sixth place.”
Impey was part of Basketball Victoria’s National Pathway program for two years until recently graduating this year.
Players selected for this program are deemed to have the ability to represent Australia.
However, this does not come without additional commitments.
“We trained twice a week at the program and once a month at the MSAC [Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre] for a full day of training with the top coaches,” he said.
Add that training load to Impey’s regular training on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Ballarat and scheduled matches on Fridays and Saturdays, there’s not much time left for school and social commitments.
The Brookfield resident attends Maribyrnong Sports Academy on a scholarship.
Impey has already made an impact in the leadership space.
In 2020-21 he won the ‘Back In Motion Leadership Award’ at the academy and in 2021 he won the High Performance Coaching Award. Again in 2021, he won a Victorian School Sports Award for outstanding achievement in basketball.
Impey said the past two years made him realize how much he loves basketball.
“It increased my love for the game and made me very grateful for the opportunities that came my way,” he said.
Impey represented Victoria at the School Sport Australia National Under-18 Basketball Championships in Bendigo this week.
Impey is this month’s Don Deeble Sports Awards nominee.
The Don Deeble Sports Star Award is sponsored by the Yarraville Club Cricket Club,
Strathmore Community Bank, the Deer Park Club, Ascot Vale Sports and Trophyes and the
Star Weekly Newspapers.
If you would like to name a monthly winner or attend a dinner at Medway Golf Club, contact [email protected] or 0408 556 631.