Young basketballers shine at national tournament
YOUNG local basketballers playing for metro WA did the State proud at the recent Southern Cross Challenge in Melbourne, held from January 16 to 18, coming a respectable sixth out of 12 teams.
Run by Basketball Victoria, the tournament is open to all Australian states, with teams made up of players born in 2001 or 2002, including Eddie Eimanis from the Perry Lakes Hawks.
WA Metro U15 coach Tyrone Thwaites said the tournament was designed around player development, with winning coming second to that.
“It prepares the most talented kids in the age group for the National Championships in U16 and U18 and is essentially an opportunity to play against the best talent in Australia,” he said.
The team was picked over a five-hour tryout in early October, with six training sessions allowed between then and the tournament.
Thwaites couldn’t have been happier with the way the team came together.
“I could not ask for anything more from these boys, given that we only had limited preparation. Their development has been amazing, and it was an experience that will hold them in good stead going forward.”
The team kicked off the tournament beating Canberra 70-34 and then later that night lost to Victoria Metro by three points in overtime.
Thwaites said the best part was that the team developed an impressive understanding of how to work in a high-level team environment.
“There was no need to rely on individual players, and when they spread the load well they were at their best.”
Despite being the youngest in the U16 cohort, Thwaites said he expects some of the players in his team to go close to making the team for nationals later in the year.
Andrew Tye in action for Perth Scorchers.
Matthew Burd, Tarquin Macdonald, Eddie Eimanis, Byron Pearson and Ben Pears on the bench, with coach Tyrone Thwaites standing.