Vic Squads named for Under 18 Championship and Kevin Coombs Cup

IN the last couple of days, Basketball Victoria has announced the squads for the upcoming Australian Under 18 Championships and the Kevin Coombs Cup for wheelchair athletes. The teams will head to Ballarat to compete in their respective competitions from April 10-17 later this year.

The state’s Kevin Coombs Cup team returns after a two-year break and will be hopeful of winning it all in front of strong Ballarat crowd. The team will be welcoming Jason Bryant for his first stint as head coach, having made the leap from assistant. Bryant says the team is confident of their ability heading into the tournament.

“Our biggest strength has been our ability to put together a team with a good mix of experience with emerging next generation athletes,” Bryant said. “We’ve developed a strong culture in the program and our group is hungry for the challenge of competing at the Kevin Coombs Cup in April.”

Also coaching for the first time will be Brenton O’Brian, who will take the helm of the Under 18 Country Men’s side. Taking over a roster that is full of talent, O’Brian says the opportunity to coach these young men is a true honour.

“We are all looking forward to working with this group and to see what we can achieve.” O’Brian said. “The reason we coach is to impact the lives of the athletes and we now have until April to do everything we can to help them achieve their goals and develop as a group so we can look back and know we got everything out of this experience that we could.”

The Metropolitan Under 18 Women’s side is one full of size and strength, and will likely prove to be a tough matchup for their opponents when they hit the court. Returning coach Michael Brookens says the area was full of talent, making the selection process quite tricky.

“The standard of the tryout group was phenomenal,” Brookens said. “The athletes really took on board what I wanted from them. They all had moments of brilliance, competed hard and made it very difficult to select the team. By the end of the weekend, we saw some very exciting and high quality basketball. No one player stood out because they all competed so hard. They all were excellent.”

The Country Under 18 Women’s side will feature a number of top-agers and familiar faces with the side looking forward to taking advantage of the home crowd energy. Coach Haydn Kirkwood says the team is eager to hit the court in a more familiar sense after the last couple of years.

“The level of competition and athletic ability demonstrated by the athletes involved was encouraging to see after last year’s unpredictable playing environment,” Kirkwood said. “It’s great to see that overall skill development has continued in spite of everything that has been going on. Seeing a lot of these athletes representing their state at a home nationals in front of their friends and family will be the highlight of the tournament – we are expecting some big turnouts from the basketball community in support of the local Victoria Country teams.”

Finally, the Metropolitan Under 18 Men’s side will be bringing a healthy mix of experience and fresh faces to Ballarat in April. Returning for his fourth tenure as state coach, Trevor Lee says the side has high expectations of themselves heading into the competition.

“I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the preparation stages before the championships – this is a great group and we’re keen to build the chemistry to be successful.” Lee said. “Ultimately we’ve got our eyes on one goal – coming back with a gold medal; that’s the ultimate goal and we want to bring it back home to Victoria where it belongs.”

Campbell Fraser
Chithic Machar
Isabel Martin
Jack Thomas
James Weinert
Jaylen Brown
Laura Davoli
Mitchell Bond
Tomas Klein
Will Firth

Alex Molan (Ballarat)
Ben Waller (Traralgon)
Boston Dowling (Shepparton/Eltham)
Corey Hastings (Southern Peninsula)
Lucas Impey (Ballarat)
Martin Steen (Bendigo/Knox)
Max Zalakos (Geelong United)
Nate Hargrave (Wyndham)
Ned Renfree (Ballarat)
Riley Dunn (Ballarat)

Amy Kurkowski (Sandringham)
Dakota Crichton (Casey)
Edie Clarke (Melbourne)
Georgia McBean (Kilsyth)
Georgia Sewell (Dandenong)
Georgia Taylor (Dandenong)
Hannah Wickstrom (Sandringham)
Lucy Dexter (Casey)
Paige Burrows (Knox)
Tabitha Betson (Bulleen)

Sienna Harvey (Geelong United)
Alexandra Leng (Mildura)
Jemma Amoore (Ballarat)
Milly Sharp (Ballarat)
Kyra Webb (Sale/Casey)
Emily Scholtes (Traralgon)
Jaime Gallatly (Maffra)
Chantelle James (Frankston)
Asha Nightingale (Traralgon)
Isabel Whitelaw (Shepparton/Hawthorn)

Archer McMenamin (Casey)
Austin Rapp (Knox)
Carlin Briggs (Knox)
Ethan Bolton (Casey)
Joel Foxwell (Bulleen)
Kristian Ferronato (Eltham)
Kynan Philippe (Frankston)
Luke Fennell (Knox)
Tiernan Stynes (Nunawading)
Tristan Devers (Nunawading)

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