Basketball set for Shepparton return

By Alex Mitchell

Greater Shepparton Basketball Association is planning for a return to action as it awaits for Victorian Government COVID-19 restrictions to allow its players back on the courts.

But with Basketball Victoria Country waiting for “Orange-50” status — a maximum of 50 people per court — before resuming competition, that wait is due to continue for a little longer yet, with currently 10 participants permitted per court.

Association president Michelle Judd said the situation was currently out of the its hands.

“Everything is still waiting on the regulations from federal, state and local government, as well as Basketball Victoria,” Judd said.

“We've absolutely started planning in the background, but it's a really hard time, you don't want to raise the hopes of the kids who want to get back to playing when so many are desperately missing sport.”

Announced before the State Government tightened COVID-19 restrictions at the weekend, the association said it was planning to complete its summer season next month before a three-on-three winter season, necessary at this stage due to the numbers restrictions per court.

But the club's Big V team remains committed to playing should a season be scheduled in the coming months.

“We've met with the Big V team, and it's really keen to participate however that season might look, and the association is very keen for that to happen with Josh Waight as coach,” Judd said.

“It will be a great local team, unfortunately we had to send the imports home, so a local team will be very exciting.

“That could be a shorter season with maybe 10-12 weeks and finals, or potentially an eight-week tournament.”

The association has also secured the secondment of Basketball Victoria Country employee Hayden Annett, who will be assisting it with its return to play on a part-time basis.