It’s the middle of the season in the semi-professional Women’s Queensland Basketball League, and the South West Metro Pirates (QSL1), a strong competitor in the league, are being guided by their point guard, Susan McHugh; a Year 10 student at Somerville House.

At just sixteen years of age, Susan is not only the youngest player in the league but is playing in one of the most crucial positions in any basketball team, leading her teammates as the point guard. 

Following in her father’s footsteps, Susan started playing basketball at the age of twelve and her passion for the sport has grown immensely over the past four years.

“I love the competitiveness and artistry of the sport,” Susan said.

“I also love being part of a team where everyone is working together towards winning,” she said.

After numerous weeks of tryouts and training sessions, Susan was finally selected as part of the QSL1 Pirates team.

“This is the first year that I was allowed to trial for the senior team as it has always been limited to those turning sixteen or older,” Susan said.

“When I found out I had made the team as starting point guard, I couldn’t believe it!” she said.

Playing with the Pirates is only one aspect of Susan’s busy schedule. She manages her semi-professional career along with her study and co-curricular commitments as a Year 10 student at Somerville House.

“I’m currently training twelve to fifteen hours each week with the Pirates, which involves a mixture of team and individual sessions, as well as general weights and fitness programs,” Susan said.

“When it comes to my school commitments, I do manage, but I don’t have a lot of time for anything else,” she said.

Working hard with her parents and teachers, Susan has created a study and training timeline to make sure she can excel in both aspects of her life.

“I make sure I know the due dates and deadlines for all of my subjects, and then it’s a matter of working backwards to fit each part into my calendar and create a realistic study and training schedule.”

Term 3 would have to be Susan’s favourite time of year, as this is when the School’s Basketball program commences and she’s able to double down on her passion.

“We are building a great Basketball program at Somerville House,” Susan said.

“We have committed coaches and fantastic opportunities at school,” she said.

“This year, our Opens Team played in the Queensland Schools Tournament for the first time.”

Despite her young age, Susan already has a big dream to chase, and, of course, basketball is at the heart.

“I really love the process of getting better and also just playing my favourite sport,” Susan said.

“I’m hoping I can continue my passion after I finish school by being a student-athlete and playing College Basketball in the USA.”

Six games into the South West Metro Pirates season and each game Susan is averaging 27 playing minutes, 6.5 points, 2 assists and 3 rebounds, at the same time accepting an Academic Merit Award for her studies in Semester 1 of her 2020 schooling year.