Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence announces new Scholarship Holders

CoE Men’s Head Coach Adam Caporn and NBA Global Academy Director Marty Clarke have officially announced the new CoE Men’s and NBA Global Academy scholarship holders.

The CoE has in the past hosted Australian players such as Patty Mills, Lauren Jackson, Aron Baynes, Belinda Snell, Matthew Dellavedova and Liz Cambage.

The program brings together the best young players from around Australia to live and train together in a high performance environment with the assistance of elite coaches.

These are the players who have received scholarships to Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence:

Banjo Talbot – NSW

“Banjo is an exciting post player from Manly, NSW. At 211cm and with good athleticism he has the ability to be a force around the basket.

He is a natural shot blocker with both hands and pursues rebounds relentlessly.

Banjo demonstrates a strong work ethic and positive attitude that will enable him to maximise the development opportunities the CoE/AIS has to offer.”


 Lucas Schmidt – QLD

“Originally from Yeppoon, QLD, by way of Brisbane Boys College, Lucas joins the CoE after winning a silver medal with Queensland South at the 2018 U18 AJC’s.

Lucas is a 211cm post player with a strong body and good touch around the rim. He is a willing passer with good vision and shows good potential as a shooter.

He will working hard to maximise his physical gifts and will be a terrific contributor to the program.”


 Josh Bannan – VIC

“Josh joins the CoE after leading Victoria Metro to a bronze medal at the U18 AJC’s and competing with the U17 Australian team at the recent World Championships in Santa Fe, Argentina.

A versatile left-handed forward, Josh is relentless attacking the basket and is a talented young scorer.

He is also an elite student and dedicated worker that will leave no stone unturned in finding out how good he can be.”


Luke Travers – WA

“Joining the Centre of Excellence from Rockingham, WA, Luke was an outstanding performer and Gold Medallist in the U18 AJC’s and is also fresh off a strong U17 World Championship campaign.

A gifted athlete with a unique feel for the game, he fits the mould of the modern position less player and going forward will do some exciting things on the international stage.

He is a dynamic open court player who will be working hard to improve his skill set so that he can continue growing the ways in which he can impact games.”


Director of the NBA Global Academy Marty Clarke has also announced the two new NBA Global Academy Scholarship holders;

Taran Armstrong – TAS

“After a stand out performance at U18 Australian National Championships, Taran (Taz) has continued to impress at every showing.

Taz brings a sound understanding of the game and an intense desire to improve his own game.

His crafty play belies his age and high level offensive repertoire is on show in pick and roll play.

Taz will be working hard on building his strength and become a pesky defender, as well as developing his leadership skills to help influence the young Global Academy squad.”

Blake Jones – QLD

“Blake has shown glimpses of the potential he possess over the past 2 years and is now adding the experience of international play in an effort to fast-track his development.

Blake has the unique blend of height, skill and smarts that if he combines them with hard work, suggests he should have a bright future at senior level.  He has a natural shooting stroke and plays with composure that is rarely seen in a young player. 

Blake will be working hard in the gym to add bulk to his 6’9 frame and improve his explosiveness which will help him compete against high level players.”


The athletes will join the returning scholarship holders for term three and four of the 2018 school year. The full list of athletes attending the CoE are listed.

Program Name DoB State Year Joined Notes
CoE Banjo Talbot 4/10/2001 NSW June 2018
Lucas Schmidt 9/05/2002 QLD July 2018
Joshua Bannan 26/02/2001 VIC July 2018
Luke Travers 3/09/2001 WA July 2018
Hunter Clarke 6/08/2001 TAS July 2018 Graduated from NBA GA in July 2018
Wani Swaka Lo Buluk 9/06/2001 WA July 2018 Graduated from NBA GA in July 2018
Kyle Bowen 6/10/2000 WA June 2017
Alexander Ducas 11/12/2000 WA January 2018
Jashua Kunen Gatbel 19/10/2000 VIC July 2017
Isaiah Lee 10/04/2000 NSW July 2018
Hunter Goodrick 24/02/2000 NSW January 2018
*Daniel Grida 26/04/1998 WA April 2017 Graduated, extended stay for SEABL Finals
*Callum Dalton 4/05/2000 QLD January 2016 Graduated, extended stay for SEABL Finals
NBA GA Blake Jones 28/02/2002 QLD July 2018
Taran Armstrong 15/01/2002 TAS June 2018
Anyang Garang 8/09/2000 SA June 2017
Tamuri Wigness 26/03/2002 QLD April 2017
Kane Waters 1/02/2002 WA January 2018
Aly Khalifa 22/11/2001 EGYPT January 2018
Francisco Farabello 1/11/2000 ARG. July 2017
Hyunjung Lee 23/10/2000 S. KOR January 2018
Efemena Abogidi 11/10/2001 NIG July 2017
Aashay Verma 18/04/1999 IND November 2016







The Centre of Excellence is excited to announce a new crop of players that will receive scholarships for the second half of the 2018 school year.

Basketball Australia

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