Basketballer jumping in deep in the US

He is only 19, but Illawarra basketballer Sean Mullan is wise enough to realise a good jump shot will only get him so far in life.In less than two weeks, the former Figtree High star will move to the US to take up a scholarship with the University of Pennsylvania, a prestigious Ivy League college in Philadelphia.While Mullan eventually hopes to play professional basketball in Australia or Europe, he is determined to make the most of his four years with one of America's oldest universities."It's pretty exciting, not to mention the opportunity to get a free education is pretty good, especially with the school I'm going to," the Mangerton teenager said."I'd love to play professional basketball and I'll pursue that as much as I can, but at the same time having a good back-up with my education and getting a degree is really important."I'm studying business and hopefully majoring in human resources. It should be fun and I'm really looking forward to it."The school flew me over there a few weeks back to have a look and show me the program and where I'll live. It looks like a good institution to be a part of."An Illawarra representative since he was 11, Mullan has played several times for NSW and toured with the Australian under 17 team in 2006.He has been a member of the Australian Emus under 19 squad and narrowly missed selection for the world championships.An athletic swingman, he hopes to return to his old stomping ground one day and play with the Wollongong Hawks.But with a Croatian mother and Irish father who was born in the UK, his heritage will allow him to play in Europe as a "local"."I'm keeping my options open with basketball," he said."I'm hoping the NBL is well established when it's time for me to become professional."If I work hard enough and get better, bigger and stronger, the NBL would be a nice place to come back to," he added.Mullan has stayed in shape by training regularly with the Hawks throughout the pre-season."It's been a great experience. I've really enjoyed it and the coaching staff have all been really helpful."They've given me very sound advice and really helped my development. With the coaches and the players around here, it'd be a really good atmosphere to someday be a part of."

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