SCONE basketball sensation Bayley Ralston looks set for big things, and in a few years time he may be able to look back on 2019 and 2020, and highlight it as one of the most important stages of his development.
Despite just turning 12 this year, the Scone Public School (SPS) student has a huge workload to carry as he strives for greatness within the sport, but it's safe to say he's handling it with aplomb so far.
On top of making the PSSA Hunter basketball side alongside his little brother Benji - making them two of the only locals to have ever made that team - playing for Tamworth at representative level (this time along side both Benji and older brother Lockey) and making the PSSA grand final with SPS, he was also recently selected for the Talented Athletes Program (TAP).
He is in the TAP under 13 age division, but such is his ability, there was no hesitation from officials to put him in with the larger kids.
His father, Brad, revealed Bayley had requested to do his try outs for the program in Newcastle, and held no fears competing against any opponent.
"He works pretty hard, they practice all the time and he's not afraid to get in and have a go against the bigger kids which is awesome in a sport where big kids usually rule," he said.
He works pretty hard, they practice all the time and he's not afraid to get in and have a go against the bigger kids which is awesome in a sport where big kids usually ruleBrad Ralston
Signs had been there for a long time there was a big future ahead of the Scone local as he attended a coaching clinic in Tamworth some years ago and, despite being too young to qualify for any side, was told to return the following year to claim his spot, such was the faith in his talent.
"The bloke up there said we need him to come and try out for rep next year to get him involved in that side of things, and he's shined ever since then really," stated Mr Ralston.
The TAP has currently been put on hold, but the program is still designed to teach them skills ranging from new training drills to nutritional lessons in an attempt to prepare them for a future in the NSW Country side and beyond.
Bayley himself told The Advocate he was "happy and excited" when he got picked, and had been looking forward to the chance to try out for a whole year.
The starlet is now hoping to qualify for the NSW Country team, and then push for the state and national squads.