BASKETBALL Victoria has selected its under-20 and Ivor Burge state representative rosters ahead of next year’s Australian Junior Championships in Gosford, NSW.
After rigorous screening and try-out events across the state, the four Victorian teams – under-20 men and women as well as Ivor Burge men and women –have been selected ahead of the national championships, held in February.
Victoria will head into these tournaments looking to excel following our U20 Women’s success in 2017 as well as rising talent coming through the ranks after championship success in both under-18 competitions this year. Our Ivor Burge sides both won gold in 2017 and will be keen to defend their titles.
Looking to add a seventh consecutive title to the trophy cabinet, the under-20 women’s team features a number of stars including under-16 world champions Jaz Shelley, Ezi Magbegor, Kiera Rowe and Rebecca Pizzey as well as plenty of WNBL listed players – including 2017 under-18 national champions Chelsea D’Angelo, Ahlise Hurst and Steph Gorman.
Also adding to the strength of the under-20 women’s program is former Victorian representative, Opals Commonwealth Games gold medallist and WNBL champion Katrina Hibbert, who was selected as the Victorian head coach earlier this year.
Hibbert is thrilled to see her power-packed side in action with the mix of experience and strong depth across the board.
“When you get the opportunity to combine the talented athletes of Vic Country and Metro it makes Victoria quite a formidable opponent,” Hibbert said. “They are a talented group of young ladies, with a lot of international, WNBL and Australian Championships experience, which I expect will work to our advantage throughout the championships.
“The depth we have with the team will allow us to play an aggressive defensive style with an up-tempo offensive game.
“I’m very excited to coach this group and to see them reach their potential as a team.”
The under-20 men will be hungry to return to the gold medal match after last year’s bronze medal performance in Bendigo. New head coach Chris Anstey – an exceptional name in Victorian basketball as a former NBA draftee, Australian Boomers star and NBL mainstay – has selected a powerful team for the championships.
The Victorian under-20 men’s team features Centre of Excellence pair Matthew Johns and Josh Kunan lining up alongside Australian representatives Tyler Robertson and Keli Leaupepe and a number of 2017 national champions.
Anstey believes their strength lies in their flexibility and will help serve the Victorian men well in this year’s tournament.
“We have a team that is flexible, with many multi-position players, which gives us the opportunity to experiment with some different looks at both ends of the floor in our preparation,” Anstey said. “This tournament is a key step in the preparation for players from all states to put their case forward for selection in the u19 Australian team.
“We expect great competition from every state, and will need to be at our best to give the nationals a shake.”
Victorian Ivor Burge Men’s head coach Glen Jordan said the side is power-packed and ready to defend its championship in Gosford with international talent, returning Victorian stars and some fresh faces giving the group plenty of depth.
“All of us on the coaching staff are excited and looking forward to coaching these amazingly skilled Ivor Burge athletes,” Jordan said. “These 10 athletes all have what it takes to do Victoria proud.
“With three current Australian Boomerangs players in Frazer Dawber, James Myers and reigning 2017 Australian Championships MVP Jake De La Motte working together with our experienced and first time Victorian athletes, we are ready to play some hard and structured ball as the gold medal is ultimately our aim.”
Looking to defend their title, the Ivor Burge women will feature top tier talent including an array of returning 2017 champions such as Kate Zonneveld, Kate Leckenby and Dani Phillips and newly returned Australian Pearl Kaitlyn Papworth.
“There is only one change to the group that won the gold medal in 2017 with the return of Victorian representative and Australian Pearl Kaitlyn Papworth,” Robinson said. “Her size, strength and skill set makes her a tremendously versatile player.
“We were a deep team already and Kaitlyn’s return makes us even deeper which is tremendously valuable for tournament play.
“Many of the players participated in the Basketball Victoria Ivor Burge Intensive Training Program over winter and that continuity has really helped.”
The Australian Junior Championships under-20 and Ivor Burge tournaments will be held in Bendigo from 7-11 February.
BASKETBALL VICTORIA – 2018 VICTORIAN UNDER-20 AND IVOR BURGE TEAM LISTS
VICTORIA UNDER-20 MEN
(PLAYER – ASSOCIATION)
Sean MacDonald – Melbourne
Malik Meunier – Knox
Deng Dut – Collingwood
Puoch Puoch – Dandenong
Tyler Robertson – Dandenong
Keli Leaupepe – Bulleen
Josh Kunen – Kilsyth / CoE
Matthew Johns – Geelong / CoE
Oliver Hayes-Brown – Frankston
Mitch Barry – Dandenong
Ryan Rapp – Dandenong
Jack Roberts – Blackburn
Matt Baggio – Diamond Valley
Hunter Marks – Casey
Nicolas Tata – Frankston
Noah Gown – Frankston
VICTORIA UNDER-20 WOMEN
(PLAYER – ASSOCIATION)
Maddi Pulli – Dandenong
Ahlise Hurst – Bendigo
Chelsea D’Angelo – Frankston
Steph Gorman – Southern Peninsula
Jaz Shelley – Southern Peninsula / CoE
Ezi Megbegor – Coburg
Rebecca Pizzey – Bulleen
Kiera Rowe – Bulleen
Kara Tessari – Bulleen
Kobe King – Altona
Keely Frawley – Nunawading
Taylah Gillam – Warragul
Eve Braslis – Bellarine
Sharna Ayers – Diamond Valley
Jessie Rennie – Bendigo
Emma Nankervis – Frankston
Cassidy Gould – Altona
VICTORIA IVOR BURGE MEN
Jake De LaMotte
VICTORIA IVOR BURGE WOMEN
(PLAYER – ASSOCIATION)
Kate Leckenby – Metro
Natasha Excel – Metro
Jasmine Dellas – Metro
Kate Zonneveld – Metro
Sam Williver – Country
Kaitylyn Papworth – Metro
Dani Phillips – Metro
Evie Patterson – Country
Jessica McCulloch – Metro
Annaliese Hodge – Country