Blasters duo set to take off in the US

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Heading to the US: Seymour talent Dyani Ananiev will take her talents to the United States, committing to Portland University. Photo by Meg Saultry

Seymour Blasters exports Maddy Ford and Dyani Ananiev will take their talents to the United States this winter after they both secured full scholarships to play college basketball.

Members of the Blasters’ inaugural women’s CBL championship in March, the pair will be heading to division one schools, with Ford committing to Evansville and Ananiev making the move to Portland University.

It is a massive coup for the Seymour Blasters program, and women’s coach Bill Pearce said the club could not be more proud to see two of its exports take to the college stage.

“We are so happy to see these girls take the next step in their career progression,” Pearce said.

“I have coached these two girls since under-14s, so I am lucky enough to have been involved in their whole journey and to have played a small part in them getting to this stage.

“Both of them have been very committed to Seymour basketball and I’m sure they will represent the region with pride in the USA.”

The two girls have gone down very different paths to get to this point, with Ananiev being a long-time state and AIS representative, putting her well and truly on the radar of college scouts, while Ford can be seen as a bit of a diamond in the rough, coming into contention late having never qualified for a Victorian representative side.

“This has been on the cards for Dyani for a long time. She’s been in all the elite programs and in AIS squads, so there were a lot of colleges vying for her services and it is great to see her finally get over there with Portland University,” Pearce said.

“Maddy getting a scholarship is a massive thing. She’s come from nearly outside the program and hasn’t made any state teams, traditionally being overlooked a fair bit.

“So it is so exciting to see her get her chance and I have no doubt she’ll take it with both hands.”

Sending two girls over to the US to compete in division one college basketball not only shows the strength of the Blasters program, but serves as great inspiration for up-and-coming players in the Seymour region.

“I’ve had conversations with some of the younger girls in our team and it is very clear that this (going over to college in the US) is a very real thing,” Pearce said.

“Both Maddy and Dyani have full ride scholarships, so this is a fantastic opportunity for them to really make a career out of the game, and shows that these top-tier colleges are looking to Australia and even our area to find talent.”