Vikings young gun Jack Boorman is cramped for space on the perimeter during the Sunshine Basketball Conference semi-final between Grafton Vikings and Lismore Storm at the Grafton Sports Centre.
Vikings young gun Jack Boorman is cramped for space on the perimeter during the Sunshine Basketball Conference semi-final between Grafton Vikings and Lismore Storm at the Grafton Sports Centre. Caitlan Charles

16yo guard earns All-Conference team selection

BASKETBALL: An integral cog in their maiden Sunshine Basketball Conference championship, Jacaranda Hotel Grafton Vikings' Jack Boorman has turned this season into a career defining one.

One of the few faces who played every game for the Vikings in 2017, Boorman injected himself into each match off a talented bench.

The 16-year-old was second, to captain Sam Wicks, in average points per game for the Vikings - averaging more than 13 each start - developing off the back of last year's breakout season in the North Coast league.

Vikings captain Sam Wicks gets airborne for a lay-up during the Frigid Air Sunshine Basketball Conference final between Grafton Vikings and Ballina Breakers at the Grafton Sports Centre.
Vikings captain Sam Wicks gets airborne for a lay-up during the Frigid Air Sunshine Basketball Conference final between Grafton Vikings and Ballina Breakers at the Grafton Sports Centre. Matthew Elkerton

Boorman was recognised for his consistency, earning selection in the Sunshine Conference all-Conference starting five, made up of the best players in each position.

Wicks, who was narrowly edged out of the Sunshine Conference MVP award by Lismore Storm's point man Andy James, was the other Vikings representative in the starting five which also consisted of Yamba's Jack Roberts-Field who was impressive this season for Byron Bay Beez.

The starting five was rounded out by Storm's Sam Mitchell and Ballina Breakers' Jayden McIntyre who scored more than 100 points for the season including a team-high 19 in the Sunshine Conference final at the weekend.

The Vikings leader praised the efforts of Boorman who inspired the side's fight back on their way to a 78-57 win against Ballina in the season decider.

"He really brought us back with his points throughout the middle of the game," Wicks said. "He certainly lifted the team there, we were neck and neck for a couple of minutes in the middle stages and we really needed a bit of injection to get us on top.

>> RELATED STORY: Vikings lift in second half surge to clinch conference title

"It was up to him to try and step up and he really did."

Sunshine Conference final MVP Jack Boorman lets fly with a three-point shot during the final quarter of the Frigid Air Sunshine Basketball Conference final between Grafton Vikings and Ballina Breakers at the Grafton Sports Centre.
Sunshine Conference final MVP Jack Boorman lets fly with a three-point shot during the final quarter of the Frigid Air Sunshine Basketball Conference final between Grafton Vikings and Ballina Breakers at the Grafton Sports Centre. Matthew Elkerton

It was a special moment for Boorman's father, Dan, who played alongside his son in Grafton's decider win. The Vikings veteran has put a lot of hours on the courts across a two-decade long basketball career, but said no moment matched up to hearing the final siren on Saturday night.

"I don't think there is a better feeling than coming off court after a series win," he said. "I was absolutely filled with pride after coming off the court there.

"Sometimes out on the court I forget that (Jack) is my son, he is my teammate first, but sometimes you just step back and go "hey, that's my son". He makes me exceptionally proud.

"All the young kids really stepped up off the bench in the final, everyone did their role and we put in a combined performance out there, which is really what we needed to overcome a strong Ballina outfit."