18-year-old Adam Lulka, who plays for Penrith Panthers and in his final year of high school at The King’s School, Parramatta has been snapped up by the University at Albany.
Securing a four-year scholarship, he says he will most likely undertake a psychology degree while playing for the university’s basketball team the Albany Great Danes, something he is incredibly excited about.
“I can’t wait for it [starting at university]. It’s going to be the best time of my life, four years of playing basketball and hanging out with the guys there.” Lulka said.
At 203cm Lulka is capable of playing power forward or centre and it’s his versatility that Albany coveted highly while recruiting him the relatively unknown New South Welshman. Lulka has great size, strength, athleticism, and upside but playing college ball will be a test of his capabilities. Having had played against only local competition in Australia, he is a little raw, but Albany are optimistic about what they have in Lulka and their experiance in players from ‘Down Under’ gives them plenty of reasons to be.
Although many Australian’s may not know where Albany is on a map, Albany is well aware of the basketball talent in Australia. Over the past four years Adelaide born Peter Hooley, (who recently signed to play with the Plymouth Raiders in the British Basketball League) was the captain of the Danes. Hooley made highlights around the world when he hit a game-winning shot during the NCAA tournament in 2016. Luke Devlin, and brothers Sam and Mike Rowley (who is still on the roster) are also all Australian-born players who wore the purple and gold last season.
Australian’s have had a strong influence on the team the past 4 years and although a number of Aussie’s have graduated from the program last season Lulka and fellow Australian freshman Cameron Healy (from Sydney) and Brent Hank (from South Australia), who have also agreed to play with Albany will replenish the number of players who like vegemite on the team for season 2016/17.
Before being able to wear a Great Dane’s jersey, however, Lulka will need to recover from a shoulder injury sustained at the School Sports Australia Basketball Championships in August, where he helped NSW All-Schools win the national men’s title.
Subsequently, he was chosen to represent the Australian Men’s All-Schools team, which will travel to the US in December but will likely miss that tour while he rehabilitates. Lulka hopes to have surgery at the end of the month and is looking at a four to six-month recovery.
“I will be focusing on getting fit again. I want to be 100 per cent for all that [going to the US],” Lulka said.
Although the injury rules him out of the Australian U19s team contesting the Oceania Championships in December, he’s still hopeful of being fit enough to be considered for the Australian U19s trial camp in April, where a team would be selected to contest the World Championships if Australia does well in the Oceania Championships.