Pro basketball career beckons Mulholland

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Roncalli College’s head boy is one step closer to chasing his basketball dream.
Jacob Mulholland (18) has been in Las Vegas and Los Angeles on a three-week Impact Basketball camp, but last week he was back at school playing catch-up with his studies.
Mulholland, who is captain of Roncalli College’s senior premier boys’ basketball team, was one of 10 New Zealanders who took part in the camp — and the only South Island representative.
His selection followed earlier camps around New Zealand, including one in Timaru and others in Auckland and Wellington.
‘‘From there they choose people to go on the tour team.’’
The team was given a taste of living as a US basketball pro which included training at an Impact Basketball facility in Las Vegas, alongside coaches who have worked with professional athletes.
‘‘We also played in The Last Call Big Foot Tournament and in that we won the gold division,’’ he said.
‘‘Also, in Vegas we played several Chinese professional teams that were touring America at the time, too.
‘‘That was a good experience because we were playing against people that were playing in the professional league.
‘‘So it was good to see if it’s what we liked and what we wanted to do [in the future],’’ Mulholland said.
The group also visited the University of Las Vegas, where they looked around the facilities and watched a basketball training session.
‘‘It gave us a chance to see what it was like if we went to college over there.’’
And Mulholland hopes that will soon become a reality.
‘‘That’s one of the options. Hopefully I will be able to get a scholarship.
‘‘There’s talk I might be able to go back over in January to the Impact facility in Vegas . . . for about four months.’’
The experience would give him a chance to train with other basketballers from around the world.
Mulholland, who started playing basketball competitively in year 8, last year played in the New Zealand Koru Development Tour and has continued to play for Roncalli College.
‘‘My goal would be to end up playing professional basketball somewhere.
‘‘That has been the goal I’ve been working towards — forming contacts and improving as much as I can,’’ he said.