05/03/2024

Joel Foxwell will be looking to make his mark for Victoria (Image: Jackson Mansell)

Time is rapidly approaching for the 2024 Under 20 and Ivor Burge National Championships, which is set to get underway on January 30.

The six-day event, which runs until February 4 will see 28 teams from over Australia venture to Ballarat. It is expected to be the best tournament yet, as some of the country’s top rising players will be showcasing their talents.

Ahead of the upcoming national championships, The Inner Sanctum will take a look at the ones to watch during the event.

Roman Siulepa

The high school phenomenon has been making waves over the past year, with a standout 52-point performance during the U18 Division 1 State Championship game in 2023 among his many achievements.

While only 17 years of age, the 196cm swingman has already displayed potential on the court and shown significant influence on the scoreboard. Siulepa helped Australia win gold at the FIBA U16 Asian Championships last year, also impressing in the recent NBL1 season for the South West Metro Pirates, averaging 8.50 points per game.

After declaring his intent on playing in the NBL one day during a recent interview, it’s safe to say that Siulepa will be wanting to put his best foot forward once more for Queensland.

Joel Foxwell 

The 18-year-old has been seen in action alongside Melbourne United as a training partner, but the Victorian local’s star has been on the rise for a while now. 

At 6’1 and despite matching up with opponents who are taller, the point guard has proven himself to be a powerful asset both offensively and defensively. Representing Victoria, Foxwell brings with him an impressive skill set that includes basketball IQ and can explosiveness at the basket. 

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Joshua Ibukunoluwa

Another name to keep an eye out for is the versatile 206cm forward, who is currently playing for the High Point Panthers in the States.

Ibukunoluwa showed glimpses at last year’s event, averaging 12 points and shooting at 43 per cent from 3. Returning to represent Western Australia once again for 2024, he could be set for a huge campaign this time around. 

A versatile player that can play multiple positions, the young gun has shown plenty of upside with the Willieton Tigers in the NBL1 West. He also trained alongside the Perth Wildcats as part of their academy. 

Amarco Doyle 

The second Queensland representative to land on the list. 

Following a strong campaign in the NBL1 North last season, Doyle heads into the national championships re-signing with the club once again. The Mackay Meteor talent impressed in 2023, averaging 4.57 points per game.

The dynamic forward could have a campaign to remember following standout performances in previous state championships.

Joshua Dent 

Touted as one of the country’s most promising point guards, Dent will be one to watch. Representing NSW this year, the 18-year-old has garnered attention for his scoring and defense. 

Recently committing to Saint Mary, Dent was a key part of Australia’s U17 World Cup campaign last year, particularly with his 16 points and 5 rebounds made in the semi-final against Spain. 

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