Warrnambool and Traralgon have been selected to participate in the 2018 National Junior Classic, to be held over the Queen’s Birthday long-weekend, following successful campaigns at the Basketball Victoria Country Junior Championships.
MUVJBL is proud to announce the first three sides to qualify for the National Junior Classic, following their triumphs earlier this year.
The three teams – Warrnambool’s under-12 boys and under-14 boys as well as Traralgon’s under-12 girls – have been successful in their bids to join the National Junior Classic tournament – pitting the country champions against the best and brightest from across Australia.
“It’s great to see the country teams earn their places in the 2018 National Junior Classic,” MUVJBL manager John Hilton said.
“To have the sides make it in highlights the strength of the country teams, so congratulations to Traralgon and Warrnambool on their selections.”
Traralgon’s under-12 girls flourished in the championship grand final, defeating last year’s NJC qualifier Sale 37-22 to keep Gippsland well-represented at the elite tournament.
Traralgon Squad Coordinator Jodie Hood was thrilled to see the hard work of the girls’ team and everyone in TABA pay off with one of the greatest prizes in Australia club basketball.
“It was a really exciting weekend for all of them – they’ve worked really hard for a long time and it’s a great reward for the girls,” Hood said. “The girls played phenomenally and went into the grudge match against Sale – at all our local tournaments we’ve split the results with Sale and thought they had it at first.
“To the girls’ credit they came back and did all the things that Adam and Sharon asked of them – so it was very exciting.
“It’s huge for the association – the girls’ result was amazing and to get there shows how great our work has been throughout the association.
“Country teams getting a chance to go play against Metro teams that have been playing week in week out – it’ll be a great opportunity for them.
“It will be a really good challenge for them and to play some amazing basketball.”
Warrnambool’s burgeoning junior boys ranks have earned the Seahawks the right to return to the national tier and Squad Coordinator David Patterson is thrilled at the prospect of sending two sides to take on the rest of the nation.
“From our point of view it’s fantastic – it’s good encouragement for kids in that age group and kids coming through to have these teams they have these great role models to look up to, Patterson said. “We’re also very lucky enough to have some great coaches to help support our teams.
“Warrnambool basketball is proud of their achievements and we wish them all the best for the Classic.”
The Under-12 boys knocked over Bendigo 42-37 in a thriller in Bendigo to take the Seahawks’ first country title of the month before the Under-14 boys backed it up, defeating Geelong 53-41 in Ballarat.
Further selections will be announced over upcoming weeks as the best 16 teams in Australia across each age group square off to become a National Junior Classic champion.