Abbie Jennings scores spot in Queensland Basketball League

ELITE: Abbie Jennings plays at the highest level of semi-professional basketball in Queensland, competing with and against Olympians.
ELITE: Abbie Jennings plays at the highest level of semi-professional basketball in Queensland, competing with and against Olympians.

WORKING hard at school then playing basketball alongside Olympic athletes is all in an average day for Abbie Jennings, who has been selected to play in Queensland's highest level semi-professional basketball league.

Jennings, a Wellington Point State High School captain, was one of only two high school students selected in the Queensland Basketball League and will play the 2019 season in the Carina Leagues Club Lady Spartans.

Her teammates include sisters Natalie Taylor and Charmian Mellars, who played for New Zealand's national team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Jennings also plays in the Southern Basketball League.

She has been training three times a week since the beginning of the year to prepare for the QBL season, which started earlier this month.

Jennings said playing in the league alongside elite players had showed her a more competitive side to the sport.

"It's a big step from rep to QBL," she said.

"You really learn how to play like you mean it."

After she graduates from high school at the end of 2019, Jennings is hoping her QBL experience will help her achieve her dream of playing college basketball in the United States.

During the college application process, Jennings has taken the SATs - the standardised test used for college admissions in the US - and continues to work hard in the classroom and on the court.

As well as juggling basketball, her Year 12 studies and her position as school captain, Abbie is completing a law subject with at the Queensland University of Technology.

"I don't find it that hard. I just put my head down and do it," she said.

Jennings said her mother, a former basketballer, had inspired her to pick up the sport, but coach Sidney Mines had inspired her to keep at it.

She said she loved the freedom and team spirit that came with high-level basketball games.

"I like being able to play with a team but to also be myself," she said.

"You pass it off and you play assists but you also have the opportunity to score yourself."