Award gongs for star basketball duo

Briana FioreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Basketball players Lain Haunold and Sierraleone Simpson are both aged 14.
Camera IconBasketball players Lain Haunold and Sierraleone Simpson are both aged 14. Credit: Briana Fiore/Harvey-Waroona Reporter/Briana Fiore

Basketballers Sierraleone Simpson and Lain Haunold have been crowned All Stars at the Country Championships held earlier this month.

The best friends also represented WA in a nationwide carnival in Melbourne in January, on the back of both receiving All Star Awards for the Mandurah Magic in the West Australian Basketball League.

Yarloop’s Sierraleone played for Australind at the recent Country Championships and made it all the way to the grand final.

“We lost by seven points to Mandurah but it was a great game,” she said.

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The 14-year-old also top-scored in the grand final and the competition, which led to her receiving the All Star Award, which is awarded to the top five players with the most votes from the umpires.

Sierraleone has also been busy training with the State Performance Program Squad and is hoping to make the team, which will be announced in March.

“Lain and I pretty much train every day, so it is great when it all pays off,” she said.

Lain played for Harvey in the Country Championships and also received an All Star gong.

The 14-year-old stands at 190cm and says he has been training a lot to keep fit.

A centre player, he averaged 18 points at the tournament which was the highest score.

His team won the regionals competition but came third in the Country Championships. They are coached by basketball great Ninnette Comito.

“I’ve grown up playing the sport, my parents weren’t a huge basketball family, but the Harvey community definitely is,” Lain said.

“My coach Ninnette has really helped me, she picked me up when I was little and took me under her wing, she believed in me when I wasn’t that good and taught me everything.

“It is sad because Ninnette has been coaching for years but this is her last year,” he said.

Sierraleone and Lain are now busy training for their local basketball finals which will take place in the coming weeks.

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