Border basketball coach Chris Maginnity has taken plenty from his first Australian Country Basketball Cup as a head coach.
Maginnity has been mentoring the NSW Waratahs under-14 boys outfit with plenty of success.
The side won two of its five pool games and narrowly missed out on a spot in the quarter-finals on a head-to-head countback with New Zealand Kea.
“It’s a good opportunity for me as an Albury coach to get the chance and I’m loving it,” Maginnity said.
“It’s a great experience with the bonding and camaraderie of being part of a team and developing young players.
“I didn’t really know many of the players, I don’t have any Albury players in this team, but for an under-14s group to come together so quickly and play so well is awesome.
“I’ve been super impressed with the way we’ve been able to bond and gel as a team to execute what we’ve asked them to do.”
Maginnity admitted the biggest thing for his young group to take from a tournament such as this is the opportunity to develop their game.
“This experience is just priceless,” he said.
“The leadership and taking the step up to that next level is so good for their development.
“They’ve stepped up to the plate and gone above and beyond expectations.”
The NSW Waratahs were involved in some great battles during the pool phase of the competition.
After a 32-point loss to the NSW Ospreys on Monday, the Waratahs hit back with a 72-60 triumph against the Victorian Goldminers on Tuesday morning, before pipping the Tasmania Tigers, 77-74, that afternoon.
The decisive result of the tournament was their 72-65 loss to New Zealand Kea on Wednesday, while South Australia Magpies proved too strong in the final match, defeating them 97-74.
“It’s been a very tight comp, we’ve been in every game,” Maginnity said.
“Under-14s basketball can be a game of ebbs and flows, so we’re just trying to find that balance and play through each game.
“Even though we’ve got a guy that has scored a lot of points, it hasn’t been in a selfish way. He’s made his teammates better.”
NSW Waratahs went down to the South Australia Sharks, 77-67, in Thursday afternoon’s playoff fixture.
- Receive our daily newsletter straight to your inbox each morning from The Border Mail. Sign up here.