THERE is no place Jacqui Henry would rather be in the middle of January than the Country Cup.
The Chiltern-based basketball coach is overseeing the Victorian Goldminers under-16 girls side after switching from the under-18 boys outfit.
The former Lady Wolves head coach and Lady Bandits assistant said the tournament was crucial for the development of rural and regional players.
“I just think it’s great because it’s giving country kids a chance to play at a much higher level than what they can at home most weeks without having to travel to metro places,” Henry said yesterday.
“It gives them a great week of basketball.
“They become life-long friends and that’s the same with the coaches.
“I’ve been doing this for probably about 12 years now because I just love it.
“It’s such a great environment to be in.
“For me it’s the perfect place to be.”
Henry’s team, which is made up of players from Wodonga, Ballarat, Geelong, Bendigo, Echuca, Maffra, Traralgon and South Penninsula, is sitting third in Pool 1 and has its work cut out to make the grand final.
Henry, the Victorian assistant coach, said performances would go towards state selection.
“The 16s will all go to state selection so some of them will probably come out of this,” she said.
“This gives them a chance to have a week’s basketball to improve and help them achieve their dreams.”