By JENNIFER HUXLEY
PROMISING Grafton basketballer Merinda Rhodes sounded herself as a star of the future with a number of stand-out performances on a recent tour of the United States and Europe.
Rhodes was named most outstanding player in the River Valley Pepsi Shoot-Out tournament in America.
This was just one highlight of her six-week tour as vice-captain of the East Coast Dunkeroos, a basketball team comprising nine players from northern New South Wales and Queensland.
Alongside the River Valley tournament, the Dunkeroos competed in tournaments in Denmark and Sweden.
Rhodes said the tour was the first overseas trip for all members of the squad, and after spending Christmas and New Year's Eve as a team, they were a really 'tight-knit group'.
"It was the best experience ever; I have made fantastic friends and contacts that I will have for the rest of my life," Rhodes said.
"The Swedish tournament, where we came third, is the biggest club competition in Europe ? there were over 300 teams involved.
"Over the six weeks I played 20 games and only lost two, and I think I have really learned a lot about the game."