Cartledge Aussie rep with deaf basketball

Hoop-la: Sam Cartledge is aiming to make his mark in the Australian Men's Deaf Basketball team. Picture: Simon Bennett
Hoop-la: Sam Cartledge is aiming to make his mark in the Australian Men's Deaf Basketball team. Picture: Simon Bennett

Being born without the use of one of his senses has failed to curtail the sporting career of the former Broughton Anglican College student, basketball player Sam Cartledge, who is an Australian representative.

The 18-year-old has secured a place in the Australian Men's Deaf Basketball team — the Goannas — and will compete in the Asia Pacific Games at the end of next month.

He will head to South Korea as part of the team which includes one other player from NSW.

"I am really proud of having the honour of representing Australia, doing the sport that I love," Cartledge said.

"I'm also very proud that I am able to represent the deaf community at a national level, showing everyone our unique talents and abilities.

"It is also hard work and it takes a lot of dedication and commitment."

Without the use of his implant, Cartledge can't hear a thing - a situation he is used to on the court.

"We cope well as a team as all our players have different communication modes," Cartledge said.

"However, while playing for the deaf team we have to play without any hearing aids or Cochlear implants to make it fair for everyone.

"The game is much more visual and even the umpiring is done by signs."

The Asia Pacific Games will be a round robin competition followed by knockout finals.

Cartledge and his teammates aim to place in the top three to qualify for the Deaf Olympics in Hungary next year.

"We play each team once, then it's semis then the finals, so it is vital that we place in the top four teams at the end of the round robin in order for us to qualify for a medal," he said.

"I believe that we a have a good shot at the top two medals. Our main rivals will be Japan and Taiwan.

"I can't wait, as the experience will be invaluable as I pursue a possible basketball career in the future."

Having played in many local competitions, mostly at Minto, Cartledge has played basketball for many teams including Macarthur Heat, Wollongong Hawks youth league squad and currently, Canberra University, where he studies architecture.

A Cochlear implant recipient since he was a two-year-old, Cartledge usually plays as a point guard.

Limited in its training due to a lack of funding, the team has had training camps every few months to prepare for the Games.

Cartledge will head to Melbourne on May 19 for a team training camp, before flying to South Korea to prepare for the Games' opening ceremony on May 26.