Luckily snatched out of his soccer beginnings, Wicthiel is making the most of his basketball career, upon a grant from Sports Without Borders, with a tour of the US and looking for a place in college. A mere stepping stone towards his dream to play for Australia.
Although brilliance is sometimes found through much hard work and training, it seems that Wicthiel Tut was able to be brilliant enough at one sport to be ensnared to a completely different one.
Looking at a future career as a basketballer, Wicthiel started his sporting experience in the world of soccer, the most popular sport from his country of origin when he first arrived in Australia, around 6 years ago.
“When I first came here all I wanted to do was play soccer, but when a coach saw me playing soccer he asked me to come across and play some basketball”
It seems that this instance of a coach’s intuition brought about the brilliant talents that Wicthiel currently has been able to excel with in the basketball leagues of Victoria. Currently he plays representative basketball for the Melbourne Tigers, the premier basketball club of Victoria.
Living in Endeavour Hills with his mother, Wicthiel is a Sudanese migrant who endured some pretty tough circumstances before he arrived in Australia. One such instance saw him separated from his parents for 9 years.
Yet since learning the basics of basketball and finishing his VCE, he has devoted much of his life to helping not only himself become a better basketballer, but also others.
He currently runs basketball clinics in Sunshine so that younger kids that may not have the chance to join basketball teams can develop their skills, with the hope of being as good as him in the future.
But his dream goes far beyond just giving hope to young kids and playing basketball in Australia.
“Right now, it’s to go play college and then come back and play for Australia, and play for an Australian team.”
Just returning from the United States, his recent trip saw him compete in exhibition tournaments in Las Vegas, Arizona and Los Angeles. The trip itself was funded by a one thousand dollar grant from Sports Without Borders, which covered his tournament fee’s uniform and other playing costs.
Upon getting offers from multiple colleges the only question was which one he will take up. “I like Kentucky, (but) they aren’t good enough for NCAA division 1, so I would have to work my way up.”
Wicthiel encourages other kids to get involved with any sport, especially when given the chance by Sports Without Borders.
“I definitely think they’ve got to work hard on what they do. I know where I belong in basketball, and without the Centre of Multicultural Youth and Sports Without Borders in the first place, I wouldn’t of been able to go to America, so if someone wanted to do the same thing I did, I would fully support them.”
But for now Wicthiel is back in Australia playing for his variety of teams, such as the New Stars, a team of Sudanese playing tournaments around Australia, until he has enough money to get back to the US and find a place in college so he can proceed with his career.