North East Bushrangers are ready to fire

MEET the North East Bushrangers — the Border’s latest foray into representative basketball and what organisers hope will prove to be a stepping stone for local player development.

The Wodonga Basketball Association has launched both a men’s and women’s team into the statewide Big V Division 2 league for this season.

Competing against teams from across Melbourne as well as another North East team in the Shepparton Gators, the WBA has partnered with the Albury and Wangaratta associations to return to the league for the first time since 1998.

Both Bushrangers teams tip-off their season tomorrow night against the Casey Cavaliers at the Wodonga Sports and Leisure Centre.

Wodonga Basketball Association president Trevor White said the aim was to provide “a development pathway for our basketball talent on the Border beyond what is offered through junior rep and the Country Basketball League”.

“It’s an all-round winner for basketball in general,” White said.

“Our local associations have a common focus now that can only strengthen the relationships in this region.

“While the teams are initially entered under the Wodonga banner, we agreed upon a unique identity and the teams will be known as the North East Bushrangers.”

The men’s team will be coached by former Vic Country North East Academy mentor Jacqui Henry, who was also an Albury-Wodonga Lady Bandits assistant coach in 2011 and has a wealth of CBL and junior representative coaching experience.

Captained by former Albury-Wodonga Bandits forward Dylan Webb, the playing group contains four players with SEABL experience, with both Webb and Jon Lindhe members of the 2012 Albury-Wodonga Bandits championship team.

The Lady Bushrangers will be guided by Wangaratta CBL coach Jason Bannerman, with Wodonga Lady Wolves standout Rachel Jeffery to skipper the young squad.

Fellow former Lady Bandits players Stacey de Koeyer, Jane Scheetz, Sarah Mellington and Jade McCowan will also suit up for the Lady Bushrangers.

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