Basketballers ready to take to the court

THE best country Victoria under-16 and under-18 players will descend on Bendigo this weekend.

About 2000 players, officials, coaches and parents from across the state will be in the city for the annual Basketball Victoria Country Junior Championships.

The two-day event will attract players from Ballarat, Wodonga, Shepparton and Geelong.

Basketball Victoria Country events and community programs officer Sammy Cartwright said 60 teams will take part in the tournament.

She said Bendigo would be in for another action-packed weekend.

“Teams will come from the major provincial areas,” Wright said.  

“This event will feature athletes and coaches that are involved in Victoria’s High Performance Program.

“The championships will give athletes a chance to showcase their skills in front of Victoria Country state team head coaches and selectors.”

Championship games will be played at the Bendigo Stadium and on courts in Flora Hill and Maiden Gully.

Bendigo Stadium manager of sports Craig Green said he was looking forward to seeing the best of the best compete.

“The competition will be for players in just divisions one and two, so the skill level will be quite high,” he said.

Green said the tournament would be the first of four Basketball Victoria major junior events to be held in Bendigo this year.

“Bendigo Stadium in tendering for the events won the right to hold eight of the 10 junior championship Basketball Victoria Country events over a two year period,” he said.

"The championships across the two years will be for different age groups.

“These events are now in their second year of the tender."

Green said the championships were a great chance for the best young players in country Victoria to compete against their peers. 

He said the ongoing support from the City of Greater Bendigo was imperative to having the event held in the city. 

The first basketball games will begin at 9am on Saturday while the grand finals are expected to be played on Sunday afternoon at the Bendigo Stadium. 

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