Kids return to the court

A NEW sense of basketball-mania after the announcement that a Tasmanian team will play in the NBL has seen large numbers of keen, young basketballers attend the July holidays Macca’s On Your Team basketball camp.

The camp was held at Elizabeth College gymnasium and encourages participation in basketball and works with kids born between 2007 and 2012 to improve their skills and teamwork.

Basketball Tasmania southern development officer Nic Martin said the kids brought plenty of energy to the camp after being stuck in lockdown due to COVID-19.

“It’s an opportunity to get kids in during the holiday break, keep the active, and learn all the basics to the game like dribbling, passing, shooting and teamwork,” he said.

“We’ve had to make a few adjustments to create a safe environment for the children, such as sanitising as much as possible and keeping space between each other where possible.”

Mr Martin said basketball was seeing a growth in popularity in Tasmania due to a number of factors.

“The three month stay at home period, the Last Dance documentary on Netflix and the Tasmanian NBL team has put basketball at the front of everyone’s attention right now and that plays a part in getting kids on the court,” he said.

“At a grassroots level, basketball is one of the fastest growing sports in the state, and these camps are probably the beginning of our Basketball Tasmania pathway as it’s an opportunity to identify some talent and there were a number of kids who did a really good job.

“There’s definitely a bit of talent that could be running up and down the court for the Tassie NBL team or a WNBL side.”

Twelve-year-old Archie Devine said he had been to about six camps and was happy to get back out onto the court.

“Every time I come I make new friends,” he said.

“I’ve learnt a lot of skills such as how to dribble the ball through my legs and behind my back.”

Caption: From left, 12-year-old Archie Devine and 11-year-old Freya Buckmaster.

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