There were plenty of signs throughout her early career that Najvada George was destined for the top.
In primary school, George made the Victorian netball and basketball sides as a bottom age player before captaining both in her top age year.
Now 16, the Hoppers Crossing resident has lost none of her commitment or passion for sport.
George has given netball away for the time being to concentrate on basketball.
With a more singular focus, she has enjoyed a brilliant 12 months that have included state and national representation.
The Box Hill Senior Secondary College student was selected in the under-18 Victorian side for the East Coast Challenge tournament and national championships in Adelaide.
She also got her first taste of the green and gold, representing Australia at the Oceania Games in New Zealand.
Her efforts helped Australia qualify for this year’s under-17 world championships in Spain.
“It has been great to be able to experience a lot of different teams,” George said.
“Playing for the state has probably been one of my best experiences because you’re playing against the best kids in Australia.
“You make friends and it is a tough week. Playing with the girls is a lot of fun, though.
“In the Oceania Games, it was great to be able to see how other countries play. We don’t all play the same style of basketball.”
As well as being identified as a rising star at the junior level, George has gained attention from coaches in Australia’s top domestic competition. The point guard and shooting guard is a member of the Dandenong Rangers development squad. The program is seen as a direct pathway into the WNBL.
Not surprisingly, that is exactly where George wants to go.
“I have really enjoyed being a part of that and I found that I have improved on my game,” she said.
“I want to do the best I can. Eventually I want to make the WNBL. It is the highest level you can get to in Australia.”
Having helped Australia qualify for the world championships, George is keen to see the process through.
She listed being selected for that competition and putting together a strong national championships as two of her main goals for the year.
For her outstanding sporting achievements, George has been named as a monthly nominee for the Don Deeble Rising Star award.
The award is run by the Sunshine Western Region Sports Club in conjunction with
George will receive $1000 donated by the Yarraville Club Cricket Club and other prizes to assist in reaching her sports goals.
The Don Deeble Rising Star award recognises young athletes in the western suburbs who have achieved outstanding results at a state and national level.
To nominate someone for the Don Deeble Rising Star Award please email firstname.lastname@example.org.