Shepparton rising starts set to pull on Victoria Country kits

By Alex Mitchell

A number of Shepparton’s promising talents have made the cut for Basketball Victoria’s representative squads for the coming season.

Those selected from a tryout day in Ballarat last week will head to either the Southern Cross Challenge or the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup, both to be held in January.

Ten Greater Shepparton Basketball Association players across a variety of age groups were picked, ready to put themselves to the test against some of the country’s best representing Victoria Country.

Heading to the Southern Cross Challenge — to be held at the State Basketball Centre from January 18 to 21 — are Matt and Jordan Whitlock (under-14 boys), Hannah Onley and Isabel Whitelaw (under-15 girls) and Boston Dowling and Jordan Munro (under-15 boys).

Picked for the January 14 to 19 Country Cup are Tom Gorman (under-16 boys), Jordyn Commadeur (under-16 girls, emergency) as well as Oscar Hide and Jordan Michel (under-18 boys).

There are plenty of opportunities there for the taking, with selected athletes to attend the Victorian National Performance Program, from which potential future members of national junior teams are picked.

Basketball Victoria’s operations manager Grant Wallace said the country athletes could be on the path to greatness.

‘‘Southern Cross Challenge and Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup have been important steps for our elite country athletes as they progress further into the country high performance pathway,’’ he said.

‘‘Selection into SCC/ACJBJ from Country Victoria is an amazing achievement and coupled with the State Development Program, it showcases our best juniors and gives them an opportunity to become better players and people on and off the court.’’