Hoops hopes on the rise

Alieu Chol

If determination and work ethic have anything to do with it, Alieu Chol will be taking his Melton-honed basketball talent to the world.

The 19-year-old has aspirations to study abroad and dreams of playing college basketball in the US, but says fees of $28,000 could be his biggest obstacle.

Standing at 198 centimetres, Chol’s skills on court have caught the attention of Pennsylvania State University, McDaniel College in Maryland and a number of other institutions.

“I’ve been playing basketball since 2012,” Chol said. “I started playing soccer when I was six to the age of 14, but I changed codes because of my height.

“As a kid I would watch basketball and I always loved it. I look up to my brother Yuat, who is playing college basketball for Texas Christian University in America right now.”

Chol knows that chasing dreams takes hard work and dedication, so he worked three jobs last year to save and help support his family.

“Last year I worked at McDonalds, KFC and Tabcorp Park but it interfered with my studies, so I now work at Caltex and save money,” he said. “My mum is a single mum and doesn’t speak much English … she raises my younger siblings. I’m working my butt off now.”

Chol has played for the Sunshine Longhorns and Western Pride in Footscray and has been selected for the Melton under-21 representative team. “I’m trying to do well there so that I get seen,” Chol said.

He’s looking for sponsorship to help get him to America. Anyone interested can contact mikeool782@gmail.com