KUALA LUMPUR: Three-point specialist Yashier Rashid Ahmad received a major boost in his basketball career yesterday.
The player from Malacca was among the 12 players selected by the Malaysian Basketball Association (MABA) for the World Junior Basketball Championship in Greece from July 10-20.
At 18, Yashier is the youngest member of the team which also include Ang Tun Kaw, Cheong Jai Hui, Cheong Yow Keen, Khor Eng Choong, Koo Chen Jye, Lai Chze Wei, Ng Khai Sean, Phang Wai Cheong, Soo Eng Heng and Chan Kek Thai.
Five players – Ramesh Chandra, Hong Wey Jian, Mohd Yusoff Abdul Kader, Wee Chuan Chin and Yong Joon Fai – failed to make the team.
Yashier, of mixed Malay-Chinese parentage, was ecstatic at being selected for the championship. It will be his first international assignment.
“I have been playing basketball since I was 10. I'm glad to get this great opportunity to represent Malaysia in a world meet. Now I have to work hard to improve on my shooting as we'll be up against some strong teams in Greece,” said Yashier, who was discovered by national head coach Sim Sin Heng during the South Zone Championships in Malacca late last year.
Sin Heng said the 12 players were selected based on their performances in the Agong's Cup, the recent Test matches against South Africa and the players' commitment during the training sessions.
“I would have preferred not to drop any players. But each nation is only allowed to name 12 players and I have named our strongest line-up.
“It will be a tough outing for us. Our aim is to win at least one match,” added Sin Heng.
Malaysia have been drawn in Group D with Croatia, Lithuania and Venezuela.
Group A comprises Turkey, Australia, Argentina and South Korea while Group B has Greece, Puerto Rico, Iran and Angola. In Group C are the United States, Slovenia, China and Nigeria.
The Malaysians will leave for Greece tomorrow.
Team manager: Dr Lee King Ong.
Coaches: Sim Sin Heng (head coach), Lee Poh Loy (assistant coach), Felton Sealey (coaching adviser).
Team: Yasier Rashid Ahmad, Ang Tun Kaw, Chan Kek Thai, Cheong Jai Hui, Cheong Yow Keen, Khor Eng Choong, Koo Chen Jye, Lai Chze Wei, Ng Khai Sean, Phang Wai Cheong, Harjinder Singh, Soo Eng Heng.
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