Matthews-Matsumoto signs SBL contract
16-year-old up and coming basketballer Lattrell Matthews-Matsumoto has signed a contract with the Perth Redbacks’ State Basketball League team for the 2013 season.
He is the first male player to come through the Redbacks’ Aboriginal Basketball Development Programme and be selected to play in a State Basketball League team.
The quietly spoken Lattrell was ecstatic at being signed by the Redbacks and sees this as a real chance to further his basketball career and life in general.
“I just want to improve so one day I become a regular starter in the Redbacks’ SBL team”, he said.
Redbacks’ State Basketball League coach Nik Lackovic believes Lattrell has the potential to one day get a basketball scholarship to a United States College and further his playing career to a higher level.
“The world is at Lattrell’s feet if, as I believe will happen, he makes the most of this opportunity and develops his game and, at the same time, his life-skills.
“He is an extremely coachable player and will only learn and improve from playing at this level,” he said.
Lattrell’s family has a strong basketball link with his grandfather, Philip Matsumoto, being considered a “Kimberley basketball legend”.
Lattrell followed in his grandfather’s footsteps in starting his playing basketball in the Broome Domestic Basketball competition around 2007.
He went on to represent Broome in the Country Week competition held in Perth in 2008.
At that time he also participated in an Indigenous Basketball Clinic run by the Redbacks and was identified through their talent identification programme and selected to be part of their Aboriginal player-mentoring programme.
He was then selected to play for the Perth Redbacks in the junior Western Australian Basketball League competition.
Lattrell has continued to play for the Redbacks since his first WABL selection in 2008 and has won the Most Valuable Player award on one occasion and the most consistent award on three occasions.
He was also selected to the Willetton Senior High School Specialised Basketball Programme at that time.
Coming from the Aboriginal Groups of Walman Yawuru and Nimmbunburr, Lattrell represented Western Australia in the 2011 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Basketball Championships held in Adelaide where he won the three-point shooting award for the under 18s division.
The Perth Redbacks looks forward to seeing Lattrell in action during the upcoming State Basketball League season, which starts on 16th March.
16-year-old Aboriginal basketball-player Lattrell Matthews-Matsumoto and Perth Redbacks’ State Basketball League Coach Nik Lackovic display Lattrell’s first State Basketball League contract.