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Nine Horsham Amateur Basketball Association players are among 10 of the region’s under-14 basketballers to win invitations to a Basketball Victoria Gold Nugget Camp in Bendigo next month. Pictured, from left, back, are Cara Tippet, Riley Downer, Sienna Manserra, Elijah Mckenzie, Archie Elliott and Levi Munyard; and front, Oakley Farr, Micah Livingstone and Maddison Bethune. Ararat’s Nevani Woods also won selection. The camp forms the foundation of Basketball Victoria’s talent pathway.
Ten under-14 Wimmera basketballers will be hoping to impress scouts at a camp in Bendigo next month as they vie for a spot on a Basketball Victoria country representative team.
The talented juniors have won selection to a Gold Nugget Camp, where they will compete for selection to attend the 2022 Country Metro Challenge.
The new event replaces annual tournaments cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Australian Country Junior Basketball Challenge and Southern Cross Challenge.
Horsham Amateur Basketball Association will be well represented at the Gold Nugget Camp, with Riley Downer, Archie Elliott, Oakley Farr, Micah Livingstone, Elijah Mckenzie and Levi Munyard to showcase their skills at Bendigo Stadium on November 13.
Ararat Basketball Association’s Nevani Woods and Horsham association’s Cara Tippet, Maddison Bethune and Sienna Manserra will be put through their paces the following day.
Both dates are subject to easing of COVID-19 restrictions across Victoria.
Micah, 13, said he was excited about the opportunity to attend a Gold Nugget Camp after two years of cancelled and interrupted competitions due to the pandemic.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun and good to return to the court,” he said.
“I’ve missed basketball quite a lot during lockdown and it will be good to get back into it and play some games.”
Micah, a year-seven student at Horsham College, said he had continued to train despite lockdowns, putting up shots on a court at home.
Nevani, 12, said she was surprised to receive an invitation to the camp.
“Both my brothers have been to it a few years ago, so it should be good,” she said.
Horsham association president Jon Fitzgerald said it was exciting to see the juniors score invitations to the camp after a difficult couple of years.
“It’s not only great to see the athletes get this opportunity, it also provides a sense of normality,” he said.
“They are all worthy invitees. I’m super proud of them and happy to see them start their Basketball Victoria pathway journey.”
The boys and girls camps form the foundation of future success at state and national level.
Mr Fitzgerald said plans for the resumption of basketball competition were falling into place, with association leaders closely monitoring evolving COVID-19 regulations.
“We’re starting our domestic competition on November 15 and had our final CBL tryout on Monday night,” he said.
He said the association would name men and women’s teams later this week, with the Country Basketball League competition on track to start in late November.
“Our representative squad teams are back training and should kick off the tournament season at the start of December, which is really exciting,” he said.
“At the moment, the wheels are turning for what will hopefully be a fairly normal season for everyone.”