BASKETBALL Victoria has selected the 2020 Victoria Country and Victoria Metropolitan Under-18 Men’s and Women’s sides and the Victorian Kevin Coombs Cup team.
These five teams will head up the highway on 17-24 April to the Australian Under-18 Junior Championships held in Ballarat, VIC.
There are three new additions to the head coaching roster for our five state teams heading to Geelong. The Victoria Metropolitan U18 Men will be led by new head coach Craig Stratford, Ainslie Howard will coach the Victoria Country U18 Women while the Victoria Country U18 Men will be coached by Shane McDonald.
2019 was a phenomenal year for our under-18 teams with the Victoria Metropolitan Women and Men both claiming gold while the Victoria Country Women took bronze to round off a very successful tournament for our teams.
Held in April this year in Ballarat, there are five sides representing Victoria at the second junior national championship of the year, following February’s Australian Under-20 and Ivor Burge tournaments held at the Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, ACT.
2018 VICTORIA COUNTRY U18, VICTORIA METROPOLITAN U18 AND KEVIN COOMBS CUP TEAM LISTS
KEVIN COOMBS CUP
The Victorian Kevin Coombs Cup team has retained its strong core from 2019 for the 2020 campaign – including Australian senior representative Teisha Shadwell and Australian U23 players Izzy Martin, Jaylen Brown and Mitch Bond. Victorian KCC coach Ben Hodgens said the side’s rising stars are set to push Victoria back up the rankings when they head to Ballarat.
“We have a group of players that are already very familiar with each other, having played together for a number of years and been part of developing a strong culture of teamwork and support,” Hodgens said. “We have a few new and returning players to add the overall strength, flexibility and talent of the team.
“We have considerable depth of talent in 2020, with a half the team training in the Australian development programs, and two that play in the Australian women’s team.
“We’re looking to play a fast paced game, with strong defensive pressure and pushing hard in transition – we have considerable height among the team and will seek to capitalise that and dominate under the basket.
“I’m really excited with our team and think we are strong contenders in 2020; after 2019 and with the addition of a few returning players, other teams won’t underestimate us.”
VICTORIAN KEVIN COOMBS CUP – TEAM LIST
UNDER-18 VICTORIA COUNTRY WOMEN
Bringing a lot of familiar faces to Ballarat in April, the Vic Country U18 Women features regionally talented roster. Australian representatives Paige Price, Dallas Loughridge and Piper Dunlop are complemented by previous Victoria Country players Rosie Todd, Emirson Devenie, Meg McCarthy, Gemma Simon and Dyani Ananiev while Tanielle Knight and Jasmine Whatley will make their Australian Junior Championships debuts.
Head coach Ainslie Howard is impressed by the depth of the under-18 girls group – which made selections especially tough heading into the championships.
“This playing group is exceptionally versatile which will provide us with a variety of different looks throughout the campaign,” Howard said. “The outstanding quality of the players in this year’s selections is testament to the high quality of the Victoria Country program.
“These players have come through our pathways and display terrific traits of athleticism, strong skill sets and competitiveness – trying to select a team was an extremely difficult task considering the depth of talent.
“This team will be known for their fast-paced offence and tenacious defence; they are competitive athletes who embrace hard work.
“It is exciting to know that we get to play these nationals in front of a home crowd in the country Victorian town of Ballarat – we have just over two months to prepare, but with the recent Country Cup in Albury, where the girls achieved gold and silver, there was some terrific growth and progress as a playing group over the week.
“We are all looking forward to nationals and bringing our best efforts, representing our state and our program to the best of our abilities.”
UNDER-18 VICTORIA COUNTRY WOMEN – TEAM LIST
PLAYER – ASSOCIATION
Rosie Todd – Ballarat
Paige Price – Knox
Emirson Devenie – Traralgon
Dallas Loughridge – Warragul
Meg McCarthy – Bendigo
Gemma Simon – Southern Peninsula
Dyani Ananiev – Seymour
Piper Dunlop – Bendigo
Tanielle Knight – Portland
Jasmine Whatley – Geelong United
Bella Breen – Southern Peninsula
Jordan Wilson – Altona
Charli Dobson – Southern Peninsula
Maggie Kratochvil – Bellarine
Georgia Cox – Ballarat
Ainslie Howard (Geelong United)
Rebecca McIntyre (Horsham)
David Herbert (Geelong United)
Laura Pickering (Traralgon)
Wendy Campbell (Traralgon)
UNDER-18 VICTORIA METROPOLITAN MEN
After 2019’s extraordinary come-from-behind triumph in Townsville, the Victoria Metropolitan Under-18 Men returned to the top of the table and look to remain there with a new-look roster.
Returning to the Victoria Metropolitan line-up from the 2019 team are Josh Duach and Harry Johnson as well as fellow Australian junior representative Jeffrey Ofoedu, while bottom age duo AJ Magbegor and David Amum continue to impress in their junior careers so far. It’s an impressive roster and head coach Craig Stratford believes the Vic Metro team will maintain the high standards the program in 2020.
“We have selected a team in 2020 which provides versatility at both ends, can play at pace and will be disruptive defensively,” Stratford said. “The selection process for this year’s team was highly competitive throughout, only reinforcing the depth of talent within Victorian basketball and how tough it is for the players to be selected.
“We have a great mix of talent with players from 10 different representative clubs involved in the squad preparing for nationals – Knox, Waverley, Coburg, Melbourne, Keilor, Kilsyth, Bulleen, Nunawading, Eltham and Hawthorn.
“We have a group that has a good blend of experience and the energy and excitement of three first time participants, we will taking a group committed to making the most of the opportunity to represent Victoria Metro in Ballarat.
“Our playing squad and coaching staff are excited with the prospect of what we will learn about ourselves as a group during our preparation ahead and will be focused on ensuring we are ready for what we expect to be a highly competitive 2020 championships.”
UNDER-18 VICTORIA METROPOLITAN MEN – TEAM LIST
PLAYER – ASSOCIATION
James Roche – Nunawading
Owen Foxwell – Bulleen
Josh Duach – Kilsyth
Ivan Rahjer – Knox
Jeffrey Ofoedu – Keilor
Harry Johnson – Knox
AJ Magbegor – Coburg
Patrick Twigg – Melbourne
Jyelin Moli – Knox
David Amum – Waverley
Zahn Agosta – Eltham
Jarryd Remy – Hawthorn
Anthony Dell’Orso – Bulleen
Ned Dillon – Kilsyth
James Ingham – Knox
Kai Garnaut – Melbourne
Daniel Poelsma – Bulleen
Craig Stratford (Eltham)
Darren Best (Casey)
Darren Smith (Nunawading)
Dion Jewell (Hawthorn)
Mark Sainsbery (Basketball Victoria)
UNDER-18 VICTORIA COUNTRY MEN
Taking a powerhouse side to Ballarat, the Victoria Country Under-18 Men are ready for a home-town tournament.
Led by NBA Global Academy and Australian junior representative Dyson Daniels, the Victoria County side features a number of former Vic Country representatives including Charlie Molan, Jordan Michel, Jack Hrehoresen, Christian D’Angelo, Austin McKenzie and Tonga Matapule-Otutaha.
Head Coach Shane McDonald said the team’s versatility will be its great strength along with the players’ willingness to work for each other.
“We believe our team will be very adaptable with multiple players having the flexibility to play and guard a range of positions,” McDonald said. “We have a selfless team that already have outstanding chemistry on and off the court and are excited to test themselves on the national stage.
“We will challenge teams defensively in the full court looking to disrupt and play with grit and adaptability. We will push the tempo with multiple ball carriers and challenge teams to guard us and play at an uncomfortable pace.
“It’s an exciting time to be involved with Victoria Country basketball with an altered style of play affording us less predictability, we’re excited to see how it will stand up at a National Championships. Our greater team are all honoured and gracious to have the opportunity to represent regional Victoria, we welcome the chance to compete in a manner that will make them all proud.”
UNDER-18 VICTORIA COUNTRY MEN – TEAM LIST
PLAYER – ASSOCIATION
Dyson Daniels – Bendigo/COE
Charlie Molan – Ballarat
Sam Breuer – Horsham
Bol Dengdit – Melton/COE
Jordan Michel – Shepparton
Jack Hrehoresen – Maffra
Christian D’Angelo – Traralgon
Austin Mckenzie – Horsham
Brodie Mabilia – Korumburra
Tonga Matapule Otutaha – Melton
Jake Collis – Geelong United
Macey Eaton – Bendigo
Ben Forsyth – Southern Peninsula
Darcy Jones – Southern Peninsula
Olivier Northam – Geelong United
Harrison Stones – Eltham / Seymour
Shane McDonald (Horsham / Nunawading)
Ryan McKew (Ballarat)
Brenton O’Brien (Geelong United)
Kaleb Sclater (Maffra)
Wayne Bird (Basketball Victoria)
UNDER-18 VICTORIA METROPOLITAN WOMEN
Victoria Metropolitan head coach Reece Potter believes the side’s talent and physical presence will leave the rest of the competition struggling to match the Metro Women.
“Our coaching staff is excited by the dynamic group we have selected to represent Victoria Metropolitan in Ballarat,” Potter said. “There is a mix of high-level skill sets from great athletes, to outstanding shooters, high IQ playmakers, tenacious rebounders and of course hard-nosed, tough lock down defensive players.
“Having a Victorian-based championships adds an extra element of pressure, but I am sure the talented and experienced group we have selected will relish the opportunity to play in front of family and friends as we strive to bring the National Championship gold back to Melbourne for a third straight year.
“Returning from last year’s team we have Charlise Dunn, Alannah Chatfield and Luisa Fakalata who will bring great leadership and experience to the team. First time players top age athletes Tyla Paraha, Hailey Merrigan and Nya Lok will be looking to step up on the national stage to demonstrate their versatility.
“Meanwhile, Tess Heal, Nyadiew Puoch and Amy O’Hara will also step up from last year’s under-16 national championship winning team while Georgia Booth is back in the navy blue after winning a national championship two years’ prior in U16s.
“All of these athletes will be key pieces in 2020 as we aim to utilise our 10-deep roster to grind down opposition teams with tough defence and relentless rebounding efforts on both ends of the floor.”
UNDER-18 VICTORIA METROPOLITAN WOMEN – TEAM LIST
PLAYER – ASSOCIATION
Luisa Fakalata – Nunawading
Tess Heal – Keilor
Tyla Paraha – Altona
Alannah Chatfield – Knox
Nyadiew Puoch – Dandenong
Georgia Booth – Kilsyth
Charlise Dunn – Knox
Hailey Merrigan – Dandenong
Amy O’Hara – Hawthorn
Nya Lok – Waverley
Jaz Salon – Keilor
Abbey-Lee Wood – Knox
Lauren Jones – Wyndham
Sophie Burrows – Diamond Valley
Sarae Beveridge – Nunawading
Harmony Harder – Broadmeadows
Reece Potter (Wyndham)
Lloyd Klaman (Dandenong)
Taylor Lee (Casey)
Jackie Gibson (Wyndham)
Lisa Page (Basketball Victoria)