EIGHT basketballers from Bendigo’s flourishing junior ranks are in the mix for Victoria Country under-16 selection.
Piper Dunlop, April Eeles, Meg McCarthy, Caitlin Richardson, Tayah Watkins, Dyson Daniels, Macey Eaton and Dylan McCauley are among 54 talented juniors to be invited to Basketball Victoria Country’s Under-16 State Combine Camp.
The players have been chosen for their performances throughout the last 12 months and at recently held high-performance tournaments like the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup and the Southern Cross Challenge.
Seven of the eight selected represented the Braves at last weekend’s Bendigo Junior Classic.
Their invite comes hot on the heels of the selection of three junior Braves in the Victoria Country team for the under-18 national championships.
Olivia Noter and Kai Daniels will represent Bendigo at the April 21-28 championships in Geelong, while Caleb Connick has been named as an emergency.
Bendigo Stadium Limited sports operation manager Adam Tarr said it was hoped some of the group would eventually be picked to play for Victoria Country at the national championships in July on the Sunshine Coast.
“There’s some really strong talent within this Bendigo groups,” he said.
“Some of them played national championships (last year) as bottom-age players - players like Piper Dunlop, Meg McCarthy and Dyson Daniels.
“There’s every chance they could go back to the championships as top-age players.”
The camp will be held on March 10 at the State Basketball Centre, Wantirna, with athletes also required to attend a training camp on February 10 at a venue to be confirmed.
Meanwhile, Basketball Bendigo director of coaching and athlete development Joe Hurst has lauded the performance of Braves players, coaches and officials at last weekend’s Bendigo Junior Classic.
Braves teams captured seven of the 23 titles on offer, while five others reached grand finals.
“We were really excited with how the groups fared in the tournament,” he said.
“We thought they were matched reasonably accordingly to talent in their divisions and they achieved.
“I believe all the kids would have come away from the tournament feeling proud and satisfied with their efforts.”