FOR the first time in the 17 year history of the Tobin Award, a basketballer and a Shoalhaven resident, in Asha Phillips, has taken out the Athlete of the Year award at the Illawarra Academy of Sport Presentation evening on Friday night.
Cambewarra's Phillips was able to represent the highest level available in the sport of basketball for a female of her age at the national championship.
In a sport that requires teamwork, cohesion, skill development and great individual tenacity, Phillips has impressed those around her in the way she approaches the game and executes.
During the scholarship year, Phillips has been selected into the under 16s NSW Country state team as the starting point guard to compete in Basketball Australia National Championships - this is the highest achievement that a basketball player Phillips' age can accomplish.
Related content:Phillips makes a name for herself on national stage
The Nowra High School student was selected in the NSW Kookaburras, coming second at the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup Championships and has joined the top 20 country and metro athletes to participate in the under 18s D-League team.
She competed at state championships representing Illawarra (top four country and top four metro teams in NSW) and was country championship league winners.
Phillips has made her mark and noticed by the selectors, attaining a spot in the NSW State Performance Program and has represented South Coast at NSW combined High School Championships.
As a representative in the under 16s Illawarra representative team and she has already achieved the Nowra High Junior and Senior Basketballer of the Year.
Related content:Phillips ready to shine in NSW Country colours
Phillips' IAS basketball coach Tori Forrester described her as "the ultimate competitor who doesn't back down from a challenge and brings the best out of her teammates by leading by example and making everyone around her better".
Phillips travels from Nowra to Wollongong a minimum of five times a week to ensure she gets her training sessions in.
"Asha's attitudes and qualities stand out with a real desire and willingness to get better every day," Forrester said.
"An athlete that loves the game and wants to get better and be the best at everything she does".
The Tobin Family Award is given to the academy athlete who, during the course of their scholarship, displays an exception level of sports performance, a commendable attitude to competition, persistent dedication to learning and strong community focus.
All Academy sports program athletes are eligible for the award.
Previous winners include Kieran Govers, Sally Fitzgibbons, Ryan Gregson, Emma McKeon and Blake Govers.
The recipient of the award receives a trophy and a $5000 scholarship to assist in their continued development within their chosen sport.
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