LACHLAN AHALE FOLLOWS THE RULES OF BASKETBALL AND OF LIFE.
Currently at university studying a double degree in Law and Commerce, his sport and career crossover in more ways than one.
“The skills I develop at school help lay the foundation for success in my basketball and vice versa,” Ahale said.
“For example, my studies have required me to be especially disciplined and diligent; skills that undoubtedly mould my approach to basketball. On the other hand, the competitive nature and inherent teamwork aspect of basketball have proven essential to my personal growth and success in other areas of my life.”
Ahale was just 16 years old when he began his Big V career.
“I began playing domestic basketball at my local association of Kilsyth in Under 9’s,” he recalled. “In 2011, I was lucky enough to be selected in the Under-14’5 at Kilsyth which marked the start of my junior representative journey.
“In 2013, I made the move to Ringwood where I was selected in the Under 16’5 team,
“I was given the opportunity to play in my first top division team as a top age Under 18 player where I got the chance to compete at a Victorian Championship level in VJBL. It was this season in which I received my first call up to play in the Big V Youth League team at 16 years of age.”
Fast forward to 2021 and Ahale is in his fourth year of Victorian Youth Championship basketball, excluding the 2020 COVID-19 year, and has graduated from being a young role-player to one of the leaders of a talented playing group.
His appreciation for the Big V competition goes beyond his playing group.
“The Big V competition, with a particular emphasis of the youth league competitions, is amazing at providing Victorian players with great opportunities and exposure,” Ahale said.
“In my opinion, the semi-professional atmosphere that is extended to so many basketballers across the state plays an important role in the development of talent, proven by the rising numbers of young Victorians getting the opportunity to play college basketball in America.”
As a young basketballer, Ahale had the same aspirations as nearly every second athlete his age.
His plan… to make it big.
“Like most boys who grow up playing basketball, my dream was to one day play in the NBA,
“I quickly found out that, at least for me, this dream was a little bit ambitious.
“Now I’m hoping to continue developing my skills and progressing my basketball career as far as my opportunities allow, be that within the Big V or in another competition.”
This realisation doesn’t stop a passionate Ahale from still mimicking the trends coming out of the biggest basketball league in the world.
“Although my coach hates when I do it, I’m a huge fan of a Dirk Nowitzki fade,
“Unfortunately, I don’t seem to hit at nearly the same rate as Dirk, but all my teammates know that I’m going to keep shooting it whether it’s in my bag or not.”
It is these same teammates, Ahale said, that motivate him each weekend to elevate his skill on the court and comedic skills on the bench.
“My team is filled with funny guys, and there is so much I could tell you that simply wouldn’t make sense without the back story.
“To be honest, a lot of our jokes just take the mickey out of our coach, Russell Lee – but we can’t take all the credit for that, he makes it so easy,
“Russ has managed to get the nickname ‘Dad’, which I’m sure he’ll cut me from the team for sharing because he absolutely hates it – especially in public.”
Now with Ringwood Basketball Association for eight years, Ahale can’t deny the direct impact the association’s ideologies behind basketball’s purpose have had on him.
“Ringwood provides such a welcoming environment,” he said.
“From the mates that I play alongside to the coaching and support staff of our Youth League team to the people in the front office who make it all possible, Ringwood truly fosters an environment in which you are supported and empowered to be the best that you can be.”
If Ringwood is the driving force behind Ahale’s success, then his dad has well and truly been the mechanic to get the gears going.
“My biggest supporter would have to be my Dad, Trevor. Despite being an engineer and juggling his own projects at home, he finds a way to be at all my games,
“He was a footy player in another life, so whilst he might not have the technical expertise of a basketballer, he’s especially vocal at games and makes me feel supported in everything I do.”
Heading into Round 7 of the 2021 Big V season, Ahale’s Victorian Youth Championship side has had a less than desirable start with some unexpected hurdles sprung.
“The 2021 Big V season has started in a somewhat disappointing fashion for me and my team, Ahale said.
“We’re currently sitting with a 3-6 record after six rounds of play and have been plagued with injuries that have gutted the core of our playing group,
“We’ve found a silver lining of getting minutes into a lot of young and really talented guys who will no doubt be forces in the league in the years to come, but it will be great to get some of our veterans back and hopefully continue playing better basketball with every coming week.”
Ahale is no stranger to a good comeback story though, expecting nothing but success from the backend of 2021.
“One of the greatest basketball happenings of all time for me would have to be Jeremy Lin’s ‘Linsanity’ rise in the 2011-12 NBA season. Whilst not a massive NBA fan at the time, it’s difficult for me to look back on it and not feel moved by Linsanity,
“Who doesn’t love a good underdog story that makes you feel like you can achieve anything?”
Ringwood Hawks will face Diamond Valley Eagles and Bulleen Boomers this weekend for Round 7 of Big V 2021. See Round 7 fixtures here.
THE BIG V FAST FIVE
Lachlan Ahale had to answer these five questions as fast as he could. How did he go?
Go to post match snack? Chocolate milk
Current song on repeat? Hollywood by Polo G
Best dad joke? I can’t take my dog to the lake anymore because the ducks keep attacking him. Guess that’s what I get for buying a pure-bread dog.
Netflix choice? The Office U.S.
Finish the sentence – nothing is better than…. hitting a triple in front of the opposition’s bench right after they said you can’t shoot.