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Teja following in her proud mum’s footsteps


15 November 2017

Teja following in her proud mum’s footsteps

Teja following in her proud mum’s footsteps

Teja Ranger will take her love of basketball international when she jets off to the US tomorrow to compete against college teams. It's no wonder she fell for the sport — her mother is three-time Olympic basketballer Rachael Sporn.

Teja, 15, of Colonel Light Gardens, knows her mother’s are big boots to fill, but she is not fazed.

“I definitely think she’s proud of me,” the 172cm point guard says. “She loves watching me play.”

The Scotch College student started playing in an under 10s team when she was just 8 and soon started to show the talent that has now landed her in the Basketball SA National Intensive Training Program with 18 other girls. Nine of those were chosen for the three-and-a-half week US tour — covering Dallas, Seattle, North Carolina and Los Angeles.

Teja says her mother’s basketball prowess played a big part in her trying the sport, but once she hit the court for the first time, she knew it was right for her.

“I just love when you do something good on the court or your team does well and you get an addiction,” she says.

“It’s a really amazing feeling. Most games I’m very nervous but once you go out and have a good run, you want to get back on again.”

She hopes to follow in her mother’s footsteps and one day play professional basketball in the women’s NBL.

Sporn, who played in the WNBL in Australia, the WNBA in the US and the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics — where she won one bronze and two silver medals — can think of nothing better.

“I think she’s blossoming,” Sporn says.

“Her loving the game is the most important thing for me. She can see why I love it so much and that’s the addictive side of it.”

Sometimes, when she watches her daughter, she sees glimpses of her playing days.

“Different friends will say, ‘she looks like you when she’s running’,” she says.

“I do at times see similarities between both of us — now, and then when I was young.

“Parents tend to get a little bit excited.”

The other players going to the US are Jordana Vidmar, Olivia Renshaw, Chloe Hodges, Claudia Rodda, Taylah Stallard, Abby Beeche, Lauren Hoffmann and Scarlett Miles.


-- original article by Caleb Bond appeared in The Advertiser, 14 November 2017. Photo: Keryn Stevens/AAP

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