Two Bay House School pupils are celebrating making their international basketball breakthroughs.
Ellis Podyma has been called up into Scotland’s under-16 squad after showing outstanding progress in the sport.
Meanwhile, Lauren Milligan, who also attends Bay House in Gosport, has been receiving recognition with England, proving that women’s basketball in the area is thriving.
Podyma was selected for Scotland after impressing in two trials north of the border.
That means she will now take part in training camps for her country ahead of a Test match against Northern Ireland in May.
The 16-year-old’s selection is reward for her hard work and success with her flying school outfit.
Podyma – who is eligible to play for Scotland through a family relative – has also been making strides with her team Solent Suns under coach Lee Ryan.
Her father, Mark, explained she now has a busy period to look forward to.
He said: ‘It’s very exciting for Ellis and she’s delighted to have been called up.
‘She had two trials and has impressed over the past couple of months.
‘It’s a massive thing to be picked to play for your national team.
‘Ellis was around her friends when she found out she’d been selected.
‘She was quite cool about it, but obviously she’s very happy.
‘Now it’s going to be a hectic time for her but she’s looking forward to it.’
Podyma takes her GCSEs this summer before leaving school.
Her dedication to making it in the basketball big time has seen her earn a scholarship at Oaklands College in Hertfordshire.
That will allow her studies to continue in tandem with focusing on her development.
Podyma has already picked up experience on the continent after being selected for the south west region, allowing her to travel to Sweden, Poland and the Czech Republic.
The teenager’s long-term aim is to pick up major international games experience for her country to earn herself a scholarship in America.
And there has already been some positive noises made on her continuing her sporting journey Stateside.
Her father Mark said: ‘She’s getting the chance to play basketball at a higher level.
‘Ellis has already gone to Bristol to play and train with the south west region and that’s allowed her to compete abroad.
‘She is going to a specialist college in Hertfordshire to do a basketball apprenticeship and work with England coaches there.
‘Further down the line she will be looking at things like the Commonwealth Games as a target, too.
‘We’ve also spoken to American coaches, and are considering some options there as well.
‘She’s committed to doing well for herself.’
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