Maryborough basketballer on US quest
CAN a country boy from Down Under really make it as a hoops player in the States?
"Without a doubt," Joseph Dodd says without any hesitation.
"Every person who plays sport I reckon when they're young wants to prove everyone wrong.
"If you go over there and do everything right then you can definitely go where you want to go and achieve what you want."
In late July the Maryborough big man will be heading to California after being accepted to Butte College with the hopes of securing a multi-year basketball scholarship.
Organised by Aussie Athletes Agency director David Hodge, who grew up in the Heritage City, Dodd, 18, will be studying sport and exercise science while competing for a spot on the college's basketball program, known as the Roadrunners.
"I've always wanted to do it but always thought it would be too hard to go over to America," Dodd said.
"It was a bit of a shock but a welcome shock when I found out I was accepted.
"I guess if you push hard enough you're bound to get it."
In the local competition, Dodd is an imposing figure at 197cm who can crash the boards and score.
But he is under no illusion how tough it will be when he starts his journey in the United States.
"There is always pressure when you go somewhere and no one has ever seen you play or never seen you properly besides a few clips," Dodd, who started playing basketball 11 years ago, said.
"You can't go over there and not put 100% in every second you are out on the court and training.
"You don't want to go out there and be a fool, you have to be good.
"The level of coaching will be completely different and while I'm over there I want to get a reputation and further my basketball skills."
While he would be happy to land a spot in the College's basketball team and finish his degree, Dodd hoped his combination of strength and skill would eventually grab the attention of NBA scouts.