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The highlights from day 2 came from the participation divisions with the following notable games.
U17 Boys Div 1 – St Joseph’s FTG 60 defeated St Dominic’s 58
In a back and forth encounter that was tight throughout, the score was tied at 58 before Lachlan Smith managed to steal victory with a game winning basket for St Joseph’s FTG who move into day 3 undefeated.
U17 Boys Div 3 – Phoenix College 54 defeated All Saints Anglican College 51
Some clutch free throws down the stretch and a fantastic 24-point performance from Ash Gray held off All Saints despite a 31-point game from Oliver Hill to claim a three-point victory.
Canberra Girls Grammar came back from a rough Day 1 to hold on to victory in a nail-biter. Even scoring from across the roster was just enough to hold off a determined Pymble Ladies College who were looking to secure their first win of the tournament.
In the Men’s Championship Division Pool A, Ignatius Park from Queensland remained undefeated while Aquinas College managed to dominate Newington from start to finish to remain alive.
Sydney Boys High and Lake Ginninderra College sit atop of pool B undefeated ahead of their big game today, which will determine the top team in the pool.
In the women’s Championship Division, Box Hill lead Pool A looking down on the rest of their competition and Woodvale managed a strong victory over Cabra Dominican College who remain winless.
In Pool B, another massive performance from Jasmine Forcadilla helped St Joseph’s Catholic College remain undefeated ahead of also undefeated John Paul College.
John Paul College (105) defeated Hellyer College (63)
Traditional powerhouse John Paul College got off to a fantastic start behind the three-pronged offensive attack of Caralie Wilson, Jayden Fuiava and Carleigh Patrick who combined for 77 points. Tyla Free did her best to keep Hellyer in touch however JPC ran away with the game in the second half.
Cabra Dominican (61) defeated by Westfields Sports High School (66)
30 points from Cabra Dominican’s Nicola Mathews wasn’t enough to hold off Westfields Sports High in a game that was hotly contested from start to finish. Westfields got solid contributions from across the board however Raijielia Tanuku was the standout performer with 22 points, including a tidy 5-7 from long range.
Box Hill Senior Secondary College (70) defeated Woodvale Secondary College (64)
Despite shooting 6-28 from the three-point line, Box Hill did enough to ensure that Woodvale were kept at arms-length throughout the contest. Najvada George was solid for the victors contributing 20 points and eight rebounds whilst Cameron Flynn managed to snag herself a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
St Joseph’s Catholic College (74) defeated Willetton (51)
St. Joseph’s made a statement that they are the team to beat in the women’s competition via a decisive victory over Championship Division regulars Willetton. St. Joseph’s managed to turn up the pressure defensively, holding Willeton to 30% shooting from the floor. This defensive pressure allowed St. Joseph’s star Jasmine Forcadilla to help herself to 31 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.
Championship Men’s Wrap:
Sydney Boys High School (84) defeated Concordia College (77)
Gaining entry to Championship division through a wildcard birth, Sydney Boys High proved they are not here to simply fill in numbers with a round 1 victory over Concordia College. The first half went back and forth before SBHS managed to pull slightly ahead after a third quarter run. Sydney Boys managed strong contributions across the board whilst Lat Mayen was heavily involved for Concordia posting a line of 26 points and 11 rebounds.
Ignatius Park College (83) defeated Aquinas College (81)
Ethan Betts lit it up from the perimeter whilst William Mcdowell-White contributed numerous highlight plays to lead Ignatius Park over Aquinas. Corey Shervill managed 31 points to keep Aquinas afloat throughout the game which went back and forth before Ignatius Park turned up the heat in the fourth quarter to hold on for a narrow victory.
Newington (76) defeated St Peter’s College (58)
A well-disciplined Newington College ran away with an 18-point victory despite tough inside play from St. Peter’s College big man Thomas Goodall. He worked hard inside against Newington stud Makuach Maluach but over the course of the game the athleticism and rebounding from the Newington crew began to take its toll. Newington may be one of the favourites for the tournament heading into day 2.
Lake Ginninderra College (96) defeated Marcellin (65)
In a game filled with physical play and trash talking the pure talent from the locals was way too much for Marcellin to handle. The Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence players in Jack White and Dejan Vasiljevic combined for 48 points, 25 rebounds and seven assists but the standout for the game may have been Basketball ACT’s very own Bul Kuol who lead the game in scoring with 30 points on 11-19 from the field. Sebastiano Lamonato did his best to keep Marcellin in touch, however it was in vain as ‘Lake G’ ran up the score in the 4th quarter.
The Participation Division performance of the day may have gone to Catriona Henderson from St Luke’s Grammar in the U15 Freshman Girls. Catriona managed 33 points in a win over Canberra Girls Grammar.
Jayden Hodgson, Harry Froling, Dejan Vasiljevic, Tom Wilson and Jock Perry were acknowledged as they begin the next stage of their basketball journey.
"These athletes have done a tremendous job in adding to the rich history and tradition of the CoE program," said men's coach Adam Caporn. "We look forward to supporting them as they move onto the next challenges in their exciting careers."
The remaining athletes were also thanked for their commitment and work ethic throughout the year.
"Those young men make great sacrifices in order to maximise the opportunity the CoE provides in their development and journey towards their ultimate goal of winning medals playing for the Boomers," said Caporn.
The night also gave the athletes the chance to show their appreciation for the many service providers and extended team members that help make the program such a successful pathway.
"The opportunity the athletes receive in areas such as strength & conditioning, nutrition, physiology, sports medicine, psychology, academics and personal excellence is second to none," said Caporn.
Inductions for the 2016 CoE class will be announced in the coming weeks.
After a successful Basketball Australia AGM was held at Kilsyth Basketball Association in Melbourne recently, Rob Marcolina, Chairman of Basketball Australia, attended the Basketball New South Wales AGM while Anthony Moore, CEO of Basketball Australia, attended the Basketball Tasmania and Basketball Victoria AGMs.
The findings from all three state association meetings was that they are going from strength to strength as evidenced by the Basketball Tasmania video below, outlining their aim for the future as well as their significant achievements for the year.
David Andersen: Starting for ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne in the LNB Pro A in France, Andersen is leading his club with 11 points per game as well as six rebounds. In a concurrent competition, Andersen has also helped ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne to the top of the table in the FIBA Europe Cup, nailing a three-pointer per game as well as shooting 100% from the free-throw line.
Cameron Bairstow: Having hit the court for the Chicago Bulls in the NBA just twice this season, Bairstow has been moved down to the D-League with the Austin Spurs. The demotion is not a bad thing necessarily as it will see him continue to hone his skills in real-game situations but Chicago do have a trend of trading players not long after moving them to the D-League.
Aron Baynes: Playing off the bench behind the likes of Andre Drummond for the Detroit Pistons in the NBA, Baynes is averaging 4.3 points and four rebounds a game (including 1.3 offensive boards). His highlight block this week on Ricky Rubio was lauded by fans while the circus shot featured below made it into the NBA.com top ten highlight video on November 23.
Ryan Broekhoff: Ranked second in Group C in the Euroleague, Broekhoff’s PBC Lokomotiv-Kuban own a 5-1 record. He is shooting 15-33 from beyond the arc at 46% and scoring 9.3 points per game while averaging 2.9 assists, the second best mark for the club.
Andrew Bogut: Returning from a concussion injury that saw him miss a fair chunk of the start of the NBA season, Bogut has returned to the Golden State Warriors line-up to average 7.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists. He scored a season high 13 points against Toronto before collecting a big double-double of ten points and 18 boards against Brooklyn. The Warriors have created history with a 16-0 start to the season.
Matthew Dellavedova: Fighting an ankle strain, Dellavedova missed his first game of the season yesterday. He still owns the best assist-to-turnover ratio in the league, having boosted his career assist numbers from 3.1 to 5.9 while also upping his points total from 5.0 to 7.9.
Dante Exum: In positive news for Exum, he has resumed running on a treadmill after his knee injury as evidenced by his latest Instagram post at https://www.instagram.com/daanteee/.
Adam Gibson: Through 11 games with the Adelaide 36ers in the NBL, Gibson sits second in the league for assists with 5.6 a game as well as sitting fourth for his club at 10.5 points a game (at 42% shooting).
Chris Goulding: After starting the season with nine straight wins, Goulding’s Melbourne United went through a run of three consecutive losses but they still sit atop the NBL. His shooting stroke has fallen slightly to 43% yet he still sits fifth for scoring at 19.3 points per game while hitting a third of his shots from beyond the arc.
Cameron Gliddon: Gliddon and his Cairns Taipans are searching for consistency in the NBL, with the club sitting sixth on the ladder with a 4-6 record. He is shooting 43% from the field and tallying 12.8 points per contest, ranked second for Cairns.
Joe Ingles: Continuing to fill a bench role with the Utah Jazz in the NBA, Ingles went through his first eight games without a turnover while averaging an assist a match. His field goal percentage has moved from 42% to 49% while his long-range shooting has risen from 36% to 39%.
Nathan Jawai: Perth Wildcats’ Jawai owns the seventh best field goal percentage (59%) in the NBL, recording 11.6 points per game. He is adding five rebounds and 2.5 assists but will be looking to curb his turnover numbers which also equal 2.5. A brash attempt for a rebound also saw Jawai receive a one-game suspension as Perth look to consolidate a top-four position.
Aleks Maric: Falling just short of a double-double twice already this season for Budućnost VOLI Podgorica in Montenegro, Maric is averaging 6.6 points and five rebounds through seven games as centre. He has started six of those clashes but will hope to improve as his club looks to move from fourth position on the ladder in Group D of the Eurocup.
Damian Martin: Returning from a calf injury he sustained during training for the Oceania Championship, Martin played three games for the Perth Wildcats in the NBL before a wild elbow from Brian Conklin broke his jaw. He was collecting only four points a game but his floor game remains as impressive as ever, sitting seconds for steals at 1.7 and sixth for assists at 3.7.
Patty Mills: A shoulder injury interrupted Mills throughout last season and hurt his shooting percentage but as back-up point guard to Tony Parker for the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA, Mills is shooting 42% from the three-point line and 45% overall. The Spurs also sit second in the Western Conference, behind Bogut’s Warriors.
Brock Motum: Reaching double figures in scoring for three of his first five games with Žalgiris Kaunas in the Euroleague, Motum has since recorded two scoreless games. He is still shooting 50% from the field though, with the club sitting third in Group C.
Brad Newley: Gran Canaria are currently sitting fifth in the Spanish ACB and atop the ladder of Group B in the EuroCup. Averaging around seven points, three rebounds and two assists, the swingman is having another successful season overseas.
Ben Simmons: Simmons is taking the online world by storm just five games into his college career, with journalists and fans already working out which NBA team he will represent next year. A 20-20 performance for Louisiana State University, in which he collected 20 points, 21 boards and seven assists was a highlight.
Rebecca Allen: Allen has hit the court for the first time since injuring her knee in the WNBA earlier this year and although she has started slowly, her presence in the front court will help out the SEQ Stars as they look to return to the top of the WNBL ladder. At the offensive end, she has added six points a game while collecting 1.5 steals at the other end of the floor.
Suzy Batkovic: Checking in for her 14th WNBL season, Batkovic is having an MVP-type season, having won two Player of the Weeks, a Player of the Month as well as making the Team of the Week four times. She leads the league and third-placed Townsville Fire with 23.11 points per game at 56% shooting with eight rebounds.
Abby Bishop: The University of Canberra Capitals are struggling in the WNBL, winless through seven rounds and sitting at the bottom of the ladder. Bishop needs help in the front court but is still collecting 12 points a game as well as grabbing an offensive board per contest.
Sara Blicavs: Impressing with the Dandenong Rangers in the WNBL, Blicavs sits second at the club for scoring (13.6 points), first for rebounds (7.5) and equal-first for assists (2.8). She has been the team’s most consistent performer but with a couple of injuries, the Rangers have fallen to sixth on the ladder with a 4-4 record.
Natalie Burton: The Perth Lynx sit equal-first on the WNBL ladder, thanks in no small way to the defence of Burton. Her rim protection has helped the Lynx to the second best defence while oppositions shoot a league-low 38% against them from the field.
Elizabeth Cambage: Through 11 games for Shanghai Dahua in China, Cambage is dominating on court with 28.8 points and 11.4 rebounds a game. She is scoring 40% of the team’s points and helping them to the top of their group.
Katie-Rae Ebzery: The league’s best point guard in the WNBL currently, Ebzery sits third in the league with 18.9 points at 53% shooting and a competition best 5.7 assists. Her team, the Sydney Uni Flames, have surprised a few with their 7-2 record and she has made the Team of the Week twice already.
Maddie Garrick: The Melbourne Boomers have struggled to get going in the WNBL, especially in the back court as Tess Madgen, Brittany Smart and Kristen Veal all struggle with injuries. Garrick has been solid though, recording 10.9 points and 2.2 assists to help keep the team just two wins outside the top four.
Cayla George: One of two players in the WNBL to average a double-double, George is collecting 12.8 points and 11.6 rebounds in a strong front-court pairing with Batkovic for the Townsville Fire. Their Championship defence is alive and well but a couple of uncharacteristic losses see them currently sitting third on the ladder.
Laura Hodges: After winning the Championship with Bourges Basket in France last year, Hodges’ team has had a poor start to this season with a 1-4 record. The forward continues to play her role though, averaging 7.3 points a game while shooting a team-best 57% from the field.
Lauren Jackson: Persistent knee problems are keeping Jackson from making a return to the WNBL with the UC Capitals with her aim now to get healthy for the Rio Olympics next year. There is no doubt that tournament will be her swansong but hopefully fans get one last chance to see Jackson in the green and gold.
Rachel Jarry: As co-captain of the newest team in the WNBL, the SEQ Stars, Jarry has been an offensive powerhouse with a team-high 15.2 points a game while hitting 51% from beyond the arc, the best mark for players who have hit 15+ three-pointers. With a 6-4 record, the Stars sit fourth on the ladder but did drop from first after losing two straight road games a few rounds ago.
Alice Kunek: Closing in on her 150 WNBL game milestone, Kunek is beginning to find her role within the Melbourne Boomers after transferring from Dandenong. She is shooting at just 30% but still collecting 11.5 points a game, one of four Boomers players to be averaging double-figures.
Tessa Lavey: Lavey had a slow start to the WNBL season with the Perth Lynx, struggling to find the basket at the offensive end. As we get deeper into the season, she has become accustomed to playing alongside the likes of Sami Whitcomb in the back court which has improved her assist numbers while she is now consistently scoring 10+ a game while shooting 94% from the free-throw line.
Tess Madgen: An Achilles injury has disrupted Madgen’s WNBL season and the Melbourne Boomers will be desperate to get her back on court as soon as possible. She is second in the league with 19.6 points a game but also leads the competition in turnovers which is sure to be her most immediate area of focus.
Leilani Mitchell: The Adelaide Lightning look to be a more cohesive team in the past few weeks in the WNBL but their horror start that has seen them take a 2-7 record into Round 8 could be too big a hole to dig themselves out of. Mitchell has been unable to carry the team on her shoulders to too many victories but is putting together a very solid season with 15.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists a game.
Elyse Penaluna: Averaging 10.9 points in her WNBL career, Penaluna has been a scoring machine for the Melbourne Boomers so far this season, increasing that production to 16.8 with 8.9 rebounds. Her defence has also been impressive, with her 19 total blocks best for second in the league behind Louella Tomlinson.
Erin Phillips: Phillips continues her rehabilitation at the Centre of Excellence after suffering a knee injury in the most recent WNBA season but has officially ruled out appearing on court in the WNBL this year.
Belinda Snell: On the verge of 250 WNBL games, Snell continues to light it up from all over the floor as part of the Bendigo Spirit. A 20-point game early in the season was no fluke as she is averaging 12 points a contest and shooting 32% from distance. At age 34, she is still receiving as much court time as any other Spirit player.
Penny Taylor: A massive 40-point effort from Taylor in China showed she has lost none of her offensive prowess as the Shanxi Flame look to improve on their 8-7 record. She is scoring 23.8 points a game, more than double any other team mate to go along with 6.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists and an excellent 3.2 steals.
Mariana Tolo: A torn ACL has seen Tolo in rehabilitation alongside Phillips in the Centre of Excellence but her motivation remains to get healthy before the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Kelly Wilson: Only a few weeks away from reaching the 300 WNBL game milestone, Wilson could be eyeing Jess Bibby’s all-time record if she continues to play in the same form she has showcased this season. With 5.6 assists, she is third in the league while her 10.7 points is good enough for fourth within the Bendigo Spirit organisation.
Stirling comes to the role with an incredible resume within Australian basketball that includes representing the Australian Opals at a FIBA Women’s World Championship and becoming a FIBA Women’s World Championship Gold Medal winning coach as well as a Commonwealth Games Gold Medal winning coach.
Her amazing record of five straight WNBL Grand Final appearances winning a three-peat with the Adelaide Lightning still stands.
“The role of General Manager High Performance is a vital one for the entire system of Australian basketball as it guides and directs our resources and our people to achieve greatness,” said Basketball Australia CEO Anthony Moore.
“I am thrilled to have Jan Stirling join our Executive Management Team and lead our high performance ambitions ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janerio.”
The selection panel was genuinely impressed with the quality of candidates who put themselves forward for this key role.
Stirling stated that “It is humbling to be given this exciting opportunity and leadership role at Basketball Australia. I have sincere appreciation and great respect for the significant contribution all our stakeholders make across the nation. Collectively we have a duty of care to ensure the pathways that support, educate and encourage young athletes, referees and coaches, are environments in which they can excel, as they strive to represent our Nation. I look forward to being able to contribute to the team at BA and beyond.”
The timing of the announcement coincides with Basketball Australia’s review of the alignment of the high performance system within the sport. This alignment work is designed to ensure that the pathway from the Vicinity Centres Aussie Hoops program all the way to the Olympic and Paralympic Games is clear for all athletes, coaches and referees in Australia.
Stirling’s appointment completes the organisational restructure that Basketball Australia has been embarking on since Moore’s appointment in October 2014. The new Basketball Australia Executive Management comprises:
Anthony Moore, Chief Executive
Greg Hill, Chief Financial Officer
Lisa Hasker, General Manager Community and Stakeholder Relations
Jan Stirling, General Manager High Performance
Paul Maley, General Manager WNBL & Competitions
The role commences early in the New Year.
For more information, please call Lisa Hasker, GM Community and Stakeholder Relations, Basketball Australia, PH: 0418 194 933.
Jan Stirling Bio
Jan Stirling played 163 WNBL games (1982 – 1991) and represented the Opals at the 1975 FIBA World Championships.
However, it was what Stirling accomplished as a coach that truly sets her apart. Taking over the reins of the Adelaide Lightning in 1993, she created one of the great dynasties of Australian basketball.
Stirling guided her team to five consecutive WNBL Grand Finals, winning a hat-trick of titles from 1994-1996 and another in 1998. Her ascension to the Australian Opals coaching role was a natural progression, and when the Opals won gold at the 2006 FIBA World Championships in Brazil, her place in Australian basketball history was assured.
The first-ever gold medal by a senior Australian basketball team would be surrounded by silver medals at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, bronze at the 2002 FIBA World Championships and gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
Stirling was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2008 for her contribution to sport - as an elite coach, player and as a contributor to professional development and the community.
Most recently, Stirling was inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame for her contribution to Australian basketball, becoming the fourth Australian, the third female coach and the tenth coach overall to earn the honour.
The three year sponsorship was launched at DFO South Wharf in Melbourne on Wednesday 25 November by Australian and Olympic basketball stars Lauren Jackson and Andrew Gaze.
Angus McNaughton, Managing Director and CEO of Vicinity Centres, said: “Sponsoring junior basketball is an outstanding opportunity to connect our shopping centres, customers and retail partners with the communities in which they operate.”
“Enriching community experiences is at the forefront of our business and the partnership with Aussie Hoops demonstrates our commitment,” he said.
More than 20,000 children aged five to 10 have participated in the Aussie Hoops program since it was re-launched in July 2014. With the support of Vicinity Centres, Basketball Australia anticipates this will grow to 60,000 children next year.
Basketball Australia CEO Anthony Moore said the partnership with Vicinity Centres would play a crucial role in boosting national awareness of Aussie Hoops.
“The Aussie Hoops program will ensure children of all ages and abilities have a great first basketball experience. They’ll learn about the importance of teamwork, fair play and staying healthy. We’re about creating a network of strong clubs and associations that are committed to building the best introductory sports program in the country,” Mr Moore said.
Basketball is the second highest participation sport in Australia with more than 1.2 million people of all ages and genders playing the game each year.
There are currently 231 Aussie Hoops centres around the country. The majority of these sporting hubs are within a 15-minute drive of one of 93 Vicinity Centres across Australia.
As part of the sponsorship deal, “Super Hooper” inflatable basketball stations will be installed in shopping centres around the country throughout 2016, giving children the chance to test their basketball skills in a fun environment. Parents will also be able to register their children in their local Aussie Hoops program.
Basketball Australia board member Andrew Gaze said junior development programs like Aussie Hoops played a vital role in ensuring the future of the sport at an elite level in Australia.
“Encouraging participation in sport from a young age helps children develop the physical and mental skills needed for success at a professional level.
"Programs like Aussie Hoops, which operate within community centres and schools, offer kids who may not otherwise have considered basketball with an opportunity to develop a passion for the game,” Mr Gaze said.
Simmons has lived up to the extensive hype that surrounded his college debut, averaging a double-double of 19.3 points and 14.5 rebounds with 5.3 assists.
At 208cm and 102kg, the forward has the speed and ball-handling skills to run the floor as point guard as well as the defensive prowess to patrol the rim in defence.
In front of the largest crowd for an LSU college game in over 20 years, Simmons made his debut for the Tigers with a double-double (11 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and two blocks) as LSU won 81-70.
His passing ability was on show as his first career assist at college level was a behind the back pass in transition while his athleticism was evident with a put-back slam dunk.
In his second game, Simmons had team-highs of 22 points (11-17 shooting) and nine rebounds to go along with six assists and four steals as LSU streaked past Kennesaw State.
Sealing a position under the rim, his opponents had no answer for Simmons whose unselfishness was also showcased as he regularly found wide open team mates who could have increased his assist tally with even better shooting.
The Australian then became the first SEC freshman to collect at least 20 points and 15 rebounds since 2013/14 when he finished with 23 points (on 9-14 shooting), 16 boards and three assists in a third-straight win for LSU against South Alabama.
The Tigers' streak came to an end earlier today but it was no fault of Simmons who finished with 21 points, 20 rebounds and seven assists in a one-point loss.
He became the eighth LSU player since 1973-74 to record a 20-20 game and the fifth Major Conference player in the past 20 years to reach a 20-20 with at least five assists, knocking down 6-14 from the field and 9-11 from the free-throw line.
The forward proved unstoppable on several coast-to-coast layups but was unable to carry his side over the line despite putting them ahead for the first time with 21 seconds to play.
Simmons will hit the court again tomorrow when LSU plays the second night of a back-to-back against Arizona State. Stay tuned next week for a recap of the Centre of Excellence athletes currently playing college.
Having won five Championships since the inception of the tournament in 1983, Lake Ginninderra will have the added bonus of home crowd support with Canberra hosting the competition for a second consecutive year.
“My parents are coming up for a couple of games as well as teachers and friends from school who always come and support the team so I’m looking forward to the atmosphere of the tournament,” said White.
Both he and Vasiljevic’s desire to compete in the tournament stem from a want to give back to the school that has helped their education while continuing to develop on the basketball court at the CoE.
“The teachers at Lake G made my transition from my former school in Melbourne to starting a new chapter at the CoE and Lake G much easier,” said Vasiljevic.
“The school was very instructive and direct in letting us know they were there to get us ready for the next step in our lives and not simply to deliver the content. I was really humbled when they invited me to represent the school in this Championship.”
Having competed at several previous Australian Junior Championships, both players are looking forward to one final chance to play on a national school stage.
“I have participated in 4 different national junior championships and that was a great experience,” said Vasiljevic.
“It will be great fun to compete against the best that school basketball has to offer in this country. Also one of my predecessors, Dante Exum, was involved in this competition a couple years ago which made me realize the importance of participating.”
“It’s fun to play with a different group of guys and your friends from school and it is obviously another opportunity to get some real-game experience,” concurred White.
“Every national championship, you have a slightly different role and come up against different players so you learn to adjust to different systems and different coaches and develop your game in that way.
“You don’t get the opportunity to play against the best in the country very often so it’s always a good challenge and a good chance to improve yourself.”
With Lake G’s last Championship coming in 2013, White believes this year’s team has the ability to get back to the top.
“We’ve been training two or three times a week and scrimmaged against the other CoE guys three times in the past month which has been great preparation for us.”
Despite high expectations, Vasiljevic agrees with White and is using the fact that this will be the last time a lot of the CoE players compete together as further motivation.
“With the likes of Exum and Jack McVeigh who played and won this tournament two years ago, the bar is set very high and thus the selection process was fairly thorough.
“For most of us, this will be the last opportunity to play together so as a team we decided we will have fun and compete because Lake G is always known for its commitment for the game – we are in it to win it.”
In the long term, both players are using this Championship as a stepping stone towards playing professionally.
“It definitely requires a great commitment, determination and hard work [to play professionally] but it all started with my move to the CoE,” said Vasiljevic.
“For me, I want to continue to represent Australia, at the World University Games and then the Olympics,” said White. “I wouldn’t want to do anything with my life other than basketball.”
With up to 1,500 athletes at the event, the School Champs is the most participated competition on the Basketball Australia calendar.
The Championship Division, featuring the highest ranked school from each state, will be contested alongside Senior Under-20 divisions, Junior Under-17's and Freshman Under-15's across both men's and women's competitions.
Tuggeranong Indoor Sports Centre, Belconnen Basketball and Sports Centre and AIS Basketball and Netball Centre will play hosts to the multitude of games which will feature current and future Centre of Excellence athletes including Dejan Vasiljevic, Jack White and Abby Cubillo among a plethora of future stars.
Breaking a streak of three consecutive victories in the women's Championship for John Paul College, Rowville Secondary College from Victoria have won the past two titles.
In the men's competition, St. Augustine's College were successful last year while Lake Ginninderra College will be looking to get back to the top in their 25th year at the tournament.
Keep an eye on Basketball Australia's social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram throughout the week for updates and get involved in the discussion using #SchoolChamps.
A full list of the competing schools can be found here while the schedule can be found through here.
Signing earlier this year, Perry will spend the next few months at the Centre of Excellence (CoE) where he will continue rehabilitation on his knee which he injured in the most recent season of the South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL).
Born in May 1997, Perry picked up basketball reasonably late into his development but his height gave him an immediate advantage in the sport.
Standing at over 7 feet and possibly with a couple of inches left to grow, Perry will boost the front court stocks of St. Mary’s alongside a number of other Australians already in the program.
“That’s one thing I was looking for in a college, having some Australians there,” said Perry. “It will make the transition easier and knowing there are good guys there is an exciting prospect.”
Currently on the roster are Emmett Narr and Kyle Clark while Tanner Krebs, Dane Pineau and Jordan Hunter have all arrived at St. Mary’s through the CoE.
On the sidelines, former AIS coach, Marty Clarke, works under head coach Randy Bennett and this home flavour helped make Perry’s decision easier.
“During the last school holidays I flew over for 48 hours. I got a tour of the school and watched the current team train. I loved the feel of the school and I got along well with the coaches and the people there.
“I gave myself a two week period to think it over before ringing Coach B and Marty and I told them I was pumped and wanted to commit to St. Mary’s. Coach B and Marty are awesome coaches and I felt like it would be the best fit for me to become the best player I can.”
Arriving at the CoE in 2013, Perry learnt just how dedicated an athlete must be to make it at the highest level and he admits the learning process will continue.
“The CoE has been a big part of my development because I’ve been here since such a young age. They really helped me at the beginning and continue to teach me the day-to-day things that a professional athlete needs.”
The journey has not been easy, with Perry's knee injury coming after a broken hand and thumb but the support staff at the CoE have helped him through those tribulations.
“I’ve heard it is a bit different at college, you are not as looked after, so to have learnt how to monitor my body, going regularly to the physio’s and doctor’s, ensuring I am on time to every meeting and going to the gym- it’s great to know how to be professional before I go over to the USA.
“Its been a great three years. Adam Caporn and all the coaches I’ve had have been world-class and the opportunity to play in the SEABL was great for my development.”
Without wanting to get ahead of himself, Perry has set high standards for his future.
“I’d like to win a NCAA Championship firstly and then come back home and play professional basketball and hopefully play for the Boomers.”
Talks were held by Opals coach Brendan Joyce, Head of Athletic Development Jan Legg, Running Specialist Bohdan Babijczuk, Phsyiologist David Pyne and Nutritionist Bronwen Charlesson.
The aim was to share the individual programs for athletic development, increase the athletic ability of WNBL and Opals players, share the Opals team and individual testing standards and raise the standards of fitness and strength and conditioning amongst the WNBL and Opals teams.
“I was absolutely thrilled that we had every WNBL team with a representative,” said Joyce.
“We exposed the strength and conditioning trainers to our international oppositions strengths to understand the standard and athletic challenges for the Opals at world class events.
“We also shared the current Opals culture, style of play as well as an overview of the Opals plan for the Rio Olympics and Tokyo.”
Finally, ideas and suggestions were also shared to enhance the Opals, Centre of Excellence and the WNBL programs with every player, coach and trainer in the country benefiting from this more streamlined connection between all levels of Australian basketball.
Marino passed away on November 5 after a battle with cancer.
“We are saddened by the passing of Vince Marino who for eight years was a key figure in our WNBL through his ownership of the Adelaide Lightning,” said Anthony Moore, Basketball Australia CEO.
“I had the great pleasure of meeting and talking with Vince at the end of his tenure with the Lightning and his passion and great love for the club and the WNBL was self-evident.
“Vince’s contribution to the WNBL in supporting the Lightning through good times and bad will long be remembered by all of those in the Australian basketball community. We extend our sincere condolences to the Marino family and friends.”
After taking ownership of the Lightning in 2006, Marino returned the oldest club in the WNBL to success with a Championship in 2008, the first in ten years, while Adelaide also made the playoffs in another four seasons.
In remembrance of their previous owner, the Lightning will wear black armbands for their games against Sydney Uni and the University of Canberra this weekend.
Held from January 18-22, the ADC offers a mechanism to identify future Australian Boomers and Opals as well as assess potential scholarship holders for the Centre of Excellence.
Players are also given the development opportunity to learn under the top coaches in the country and be exposed to the Boomers and Opals style of play.
“It provides a holistic education approach where the athletes will be involved in individual development as well as team concepts,” said Australian Opals coach Brendan Joyce.
“It also offers what we call an IQ development opportunity, which will assist the athletes in decision making. We all know it is important to have a skills package but it is equally important to develop your intellect and understanding of the game.”
Aside from the 44 athletes, eleven coaches will also be exposed to the education process.
“We will subject coaches that have the potential to coach our junior national teams and possibly step up to senior teams in some capacity.
“We share the style of play and then those coaches can go back and teach those concepts down the line. So in it’s own way this also assists us in increasing the development of players.
“We allow the opportunity for state high performance managers to participate or observe at the camp which offers another opportunity for everyone to understand what we want transferred down to junior levels and this again directly develops Australian players and coaches.”
The 2016 ADC list of athletes: Tina Aokusa (QLDS), Brady Armstrong (TAS), Isabela Bourne (ACT), Kyle Bowen (WA), Austin Bradtke (VICM), Emma Clarke (WAM), Lucy Cochrane (VICM), Abby Cubillo (NT), Chelsea D’Angelo (VICC), Lachlan Dent (NSWC), Dragon Elkaz (NSWM), Ben Fakira (NSWM), Biar Garang (SAM), Grace George (QLDS), Miela Goodchild (QLDS), Juliet Gordan (SAM), Cassidy Gould (VICM), Bailey Griffiths (VICM), Mackenzie Hoycard (WAC), Matt Johns (VICC), Tristan Lloyd (VICC), Sean MacDonald (VICM), Cassidy McLean (NSWC), Lara McSpadden (NSWC), Ezi Magbegor (VICM), Makuach Maluach (NSWC), Taylor Mole (TAS), Chloe Molloy (VICC), Alexander Mudronja (SAM), Genna Ogier (VICC), Andrew Panayiotou (VICM), Rebecca Pizzey (VICM), Darcy Rees (SAM), Jacob Rigoni (SAM), Maddison Rocci (VICM), Kiera Rowe (VICM), Ryan Runnals (QLDN), Jazmin Shelley (VICC), Sam Short (VICC), Jaz Simmons (NSWC), Samantha Simons (SAM), Kody Stattman (QLDN), Nick Stoddard (QLDS), Jackson Walsh (SAC).
The 2016 ADC list of coaches: Phil Brown, Brett Coxsedge, Trudie Hopgood, David Ingham, Jordan Mullan, Mark Radford, Justin Schueller, Shannon Seebohm, Kristen Veal, Mark Watkins.
These athletes have been chosen following consultation with basketballs high performance managers and state coaches and according to head coach of the Australian women’s basketball program Brendan Joyce, “This is a really exciting young group coming into the Opals CoE for 2016."
“The girls we have selected are long and already possess athletic ability that Paul Goriss, myself and our coaching group at the Opals CoE can improve through the daily training environment," continued Joyce.
"The Opals Centre of Excellence provides a holistic program to expedite their basketball development. I expect a few of these players will wear the green and gold in Tokyo and in following Olympics."
The eight new athletes represent a younger cohort of scholarship holders in the women’s program. This was a calculated decision by Joyce considering the heavy workload that will fall on the more senior women through their Opals commitments in the lead up to the Olympic Games in Rio in August.
The eight will join current scholarship holders Chantel Horvat, Ezi Magbegor and Jasmine Simmons, with the twelfth scholarship rotated among a number of athletes on a shorter stay basis.
The 2016 Centre of Excellence Scholarship Holders:
These grants will be used to support the men’s and women’s teams as they prepare to defend their Commonwealth Games gold medals from the 2006 games held in Melbourne.
Basketball has been reinstated to the Commonwealth Games program for the 2018 Games to be held on the Gold Coast and Basketball Australia is thrilled to have the opportunity to defend their titles.
Craig Phillips, CEO of the ACGA said “The ACGA looks forward to welcoming men’s and women’s basketball back to our Commonwealth Games team in 2018.
“We believe it is important that we provide our financial support to Basketball Australia through the “Gold Coast GOLD” program so that both teams can defend their Commonwealth Games titles.”
Basketball Australia’s CEO, Anthony Moore stated “We are delighted to once again be part of the Commonwealth Games family and eagerly look ahead to 2018 on the Gold Coast.
“The support of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association is vital in preparing our emerging cohort of athletes that will take the floor as part of home Commonwealth Games. Our Boomers and Opals players had the great privilege of competing in Melbourne 2006 and for many the event ranks as one of their individual career highlights.
“We have great hopes for our national teams in 2018 and look forward to working with the ACGA on the journey to the Gold Coast.”
The funding provided by the ACGA will greatly assist both teams as they undertake a number of training camps and tours over the course of the next two and a half years, leading into the April 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Both programs have identified a number of opportunities to conduct camps and tours to help develop not only the existing team members to be “games ready” but also emerging athletes who will play an integral part of both teams in 2018.
Already during 2015 both the Boomers and Opals took teams to the world university games in Korea as a part of the Gold Coast GOLD program. This opportunity allowed the coaches, Andrej Lemanis (Boomers) and Brendan Joyce (Opals) to assess many players who have exhibited national team potential.
Boomers Head Coach Andrej Lemanis spoke about the support from the ACGA, “The partnership with ACGA is an important one for the Boomers Program. It enables us to work with and prepare our broader group of athletes who will be vital in our performance at the Commonwealth Games.
“These athletes will also play a pivotal role in the success of the Boomers program heading in to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and beyond.
“I’m very thankful for the support and look forward to working with our athletes, as well as with ACGA, in delivering a team that will give us the best opportunity to win a gold medal at what will be a magnificent event on the Gold Coast”.
Opals head coach Brendan Joyce echoed similar sentiments, saying “It’s absolutely awesome to have the support from the ACGA. I was fortunate to be an assistant coach and a part of the Gold Medal winning Boomers team at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006 where the Opals also won the Gold Medal.
“It was a wonderful experience and highly competitive. The funding will assist us greatly with our preparation and make sure we can put together the best team possible to win another Commonwealth Games Gold medal in 2018”.
Other key strategies for the utilisation of the ACGA funding include;
Early identification of the shadow squad for the 2018 Commonwealth Games
Exposure to quality competition against targeted countries with the identified shadow squad leading into the 2018 games
Provision of financial support to identified athletes to supplement their daily training environments away from the national program
Intensive training blocks for identified athletes at Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence (CoE) with the aim of fast tracking graduation to senior national team
Continuing relationship development with clubs/colleges to maximise athlete availability
Basketball Australia would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association and thanks them for their ongoing support of basketball in the Commonwealth Games.
Basketball Australia - Grant Richardson, firstname.lastname@example.org (03) 9847 2340.