JOE Tunney has been drafted into England’s U15 basketball development squad at the age of 12.

Tunney’s height and natural ability – he is 6ft 4in - meant he was quickly identified as a potential basketball star.

He joined Dr Challoner’s Grammar School in Amersham just over a year ago and, when he scored the winning basket in the last few seconds of a Bucks League game, he was selected to attend the County Performance Centre.

Tunney then joined the Bucks Hornets Basketball Club in Aylesbury, where he trains for four hours each week, playing for both their U13 and U14 teams.

In 2011, the Dr Challoner’s year seven team won the County Basketball Cup, with Tunney contributing a huge 33 points in the final.

In the summer he was selected for both the county team and the South of England team and then played in an inter-regional tournament at Lilleshall in front of the England management, which prompted his selection for the England U15 development squad to train for the 2013 European Championships.

Tunney, of Little Chalfont, has more than one string to his bow, however. He is a member of the Amersham & Chiltern Rugby Club U12s and also came second in a national shot put competition at his first attempt.

Headmaster Dr Mark Fenton, said: “Joe has made amazing progress. When he joined the school last year he’d never played basketball and now h’s the youngest member of the England squad.

“We are very proud of him and he deserves every success. He is to take part in his first training session with the development squad in Bristol on Saturday.”