2019 Southern Cross Challenge Review

The earlier that is, the better the player, the coach or the referee becomes by the end of the high performance pathway. It is important to bridge any gaps in that pathway and create further opportunity for the next generation to shine on the big stage.

For our under-14 and under-15 talent from Victoria Country and Victoria Metropolitan, as well as referees and coaches from across the state, that opportunity is the Southern Cross Challenge.

Basketball Victoria and a number of other states brought together under-14 and under-15 elite talent over the weekend to hone future talent in a tournament environment. Held at the State Basketball Centre in Wantirna South, there are numerous benefits to participation in the Southern Cross Challenge.

The best way to improve in elite environments is to bring the environment to our up-and-coming players. With Australian Junior Championships and national duties on the horizon for the best and brightest within the program, the Southern Cross Challenge enables players to learn about the elite process and the high performance pathway sooner. This in turn will make any future campaigns for Victoria, Victoria Metro, Vic Country or Australian teams much less of a drastic jump.

The SCC also provides an elite opportunity for development in our coaching and refereeing ranks. The pathway is not just for players as everyone involved with the game needs to excel for our state to continue its impressive track record throughout Australian basketball. With this in mind some of the best developing Victorian coaches get a chance to begin at development tournaments like the Southern Cross Challenge. Our efforts extend to the greatest opportunity possible for referees across the SCC as well as all aspects of the game need to be honed to deliver the best possible environment going forward.

Victoria Metropolitan had three sides per age group featuring at the championships including the Vic Metro Orange U14 team featuring elite players from our entry point to the pathway program – the Basketball Victoria Metro Showcase. These elite players from the Showcase represented Vic Metro Orange as bottom age players and received an additional boost to their development efforts throughout the weekend-long tournament.

Basketball Victoria Operations Manager Grant Wallace said SCC and other high performance programs by Basketball Victoria offer up elite opportunities for the state’s incredible rising stars in all facets of the game.

“The Southern Cross Challenge is always a great opportunity for up-and-coming athletes across Victoria and other competing states to square off against the best basketball talent from around the country,” Wallace said. “It has always been a brilliant tournament and it was fantastic to see the players, coaches and referees take their opportunity to improve their game and make an impact at the elite level.

“To represent Victoria Metro or Victoria Country at any level is an impressive achievement and everyone was thrilled to participate in such a tournament.

“A number of elite Victorian representatives have benefitted from the SCC being a major part of their basketball pathway and we expect nothing different from this group of athletes.”

For all results from the weekend, click here.

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