HOW TO BECOME AUSTRALIA'S NEXT BOOMER OR OPAL
Basketball Australia's National Intensive Training Program (NITP)
Basketball Australia's internationally acclaimed National Intensive Training Program (NITP) provides Australia's promising young basketballers and basketball coaches with a proven pathway to success in their chosen sport.
The ITC (as it was then known) was established in 1992 to provide a more systematic, thorough and unified national approach to the identification and development of outstanding junior basketballers. The success of the program has been outstanding with most of Australia's current crop of Boomers and Opals and many current NBL and WNBL coaches.
Australian Opals and Boomers athletes who have graduated through the program include Lauren Jackson (Australian Opals/ Seattle Storm), Patrick Mills (Australian Boomers/St Mary's), Chris Anstey (Australian Boomers/Melbourne Tigers/Dallas Mavericks/Chicago Bulls), Andrew Bogut (Australian Boomers / Milwaukee Bucks) and Joe Ingles (Australian Boomers / South Dragons)
Some of the coaches who have been involved in the NITP and national teams include Carrie Graf (Opals head coach, Canberra Capitals head coach & WNBA Phoenix Mercury head coach), Rob Beveridge (former Head Coach Australian U/19 Emus), Peter Buckle (Townsville Fire), Peter Lonergan (Assistant Coach Opals, Head Coach Australian U17 women) and Damian Cotter (Head Coach Australian U19 Emus).
The NITP provides athletes with a good grounding in the fundamental team and individual skills that are required to compete at an international level. Australia's future champions are also taught aspects of strength and conditioning, sports science and medicine and their development off the court is as important as on the court. All aspects of a players' development are addressed including time management, planning, personal development and life management skills. Players benefit from the interactive and positive learning environment and also have the opportunity of experiencing international competition in Australia, USA, Asia and Europe.
The NITP Head coaches are full-time, experienced, coaches and the program is as much about their continued professional development through attending coaching clinics and study tours as it is the athletes in the program. The head coaches are supported by a committed and extensive network of emerging coaches, thus providing Australia's next generation of elite teachers to develop their own practical coaching techniques whilst providing them with professional development opportunities.
Athletes are selected to the program based upon their potential to represent Australia at international level. It does not necessarily take the players who are the 'best' now, but focuses on those that will be the 'best' in the long term.
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