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Dare to Dream 2020: Meet future pro basketballer, Charlie

“I’d like to be the best possible player that I can be. I’d really like to be able to break an assist record in a US league.”

Kew local, Charlie Sweet, is one of just eight young Australians to be awarded the Coles and Redkite Dare to Dream scholarship after he was diagnosed with cancer in 2020.

Charlie was diagnosed with Lymphoblastic Lymphoma at just eight years old but is now off-treatment and undergoes regular check-ups.

The 13-year-old who plays for the Hawthorn Magic basketball club and dreams of one day becoming a professional basketballer, said he would use his $3,000 scholarship for a one-on-one basketball coach to make up for the time he lost while going through treatment.

“Cancer really impacted my time on the court. I had neuropathy, and things started to hurt, and get tight, and I couldn’t run or jump as fast. I also started to lose my breath quite a bit and I put on weight because of the steroids,” Charlie said.

“The chemotherapy also stunted my growth, and really no-one wants an undersized, non-athletic point guard in the NBA nowadays.”

Charlie’s dream is to one day play basketball at a university in the United States.

“I’d also like to be the best possible player that I can be. I’d really like to be able to break an assist record in a US league, and I’d also like to be able to dunk,” Charlie said.

“I will also use the scholarship to purchase some fitness equipment for home so I can gain the strength back that I lost due to having cancer.”

Charlie’s parents, Jane Harding and John Sweet, expressed how important the support Redkite provided during treatment was to the family.

“Navigating that period was really challenging. Redkite were fantastic right through that period and we’re so grateful for the opportunity they’ve now given Charlie,” John said.

Funded with the support of Coles, Redkite’s Dare to Dream scholarship can be put towards education, career or life goals that have been disrupted due to the impact cancer has on a child’s physical and mental wellbeing.

Learn more about the Redkite and Coles Dare to Dream Scholarships
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