More than 300 junior basketballers to compete in local tournament

Arna Tatchell, Charlie Rumpff and Kaley Walhouse from the Maryborough Blazers are just three of an expected 300 junior basketballers ready to take to the court this weekend.

Over 300 young basketballers are expected to descend on Maryborough this weekend for the Maryborough Basketball Association’s (MBA) 2019 junior tournament.

Over 40 junior teams from Maryborough, Castlemaine, Ararat, Bendigo, Ballarat, Horsham, Kyneton, Woodend and Colac will play at four courts across town on the hunt for a grand final appearance on Sunday.

Tournament organiser Leanne Dellavedova said the MBA has worked very hard to get the tournament back up and running for the first time since 2015.

“We’ve toyed with the idea for a few years but it didn’t quite get off the ground. Last year we actually put it out there and didn’t get enough entries because the Basketball Victoria calender is extremely full,” she said.

“A lot of the kids participate in other tournaments, but I remember when our kids were little how awesome it was to have the tournament here. I think it’s really good for the town.

“There’s around 300 plus players expected, but if you add coaches to that and parents as well there could be up to 500 extra people in Maryborough this weekend.”

Squad basketballers from Maryborough often travel to tournaments around Victoria, but Mrs Dellavedova said the local tournament opens the door to a lot of other talented basketballers that may not have been selected.

“It’s good for the town, it’s good for basketball, it’s good for not just the kids who are in the squad team, but it actually gives an opportunity to other kids who haven’t been a part of the squad teams to play,” she said.

Games will be played on Saturday, February 17 from 8 am to 8:30 pm at the Maryborough Sports and Leisure Centre, the Maryborough Education Centre and the Nolan Street basketball court near the shire offices.

Semi finals and grand finals for each age group will all be held on Sunday 18 between 8 am and 4 pm.

For more on this story see the Back Page of The Advertiser, Friday, February 15

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