The chance to get high-level experience on your own doorstep is a major positive for the Border’s developing basketball talent.
Albury-Wodonga’s under-18 girls side has steadily worked its way into the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup this week.
Despite not tasting victory thus far, the team put together its best performance of the week on Friday, scoring 50 points against the South Australia Magpies in the positional playoffs.
Lady Bandits youth league coach Rho Fry has been working with the players this week and has been impressed with how they’re approached it.
“Getting them used to playing older, stronger, tougher athletes really helps them with their learning curve and what they’re going to face in senior basketball,” Fry said.
“Youth league is an under-22 competition and being our first year in, we’ve got a lot of young athletes around the 14 years of age.
“We’ve been able to give some of those players a head start into how you compete against the older athletes they’re bound to come up against in the youth league season.”
Fry admitted attitude is everything.
“We have a talented bunch of athletes, albeit a bit younger and playing at a slightly lower level than some of the state league kids they’re against,” he said.
“If you can maintain a positive attitude all the way through and not take the small losses you face during a game too seriously, you’re going to get better.
“I think the kids have all found a way to lift to the challenge.
“They were probably caught on the back foot early, but over the course of the week they’ve all found strategies, individually and collectively to be a little better and shorten up that gap.”
Albury-Wodonga rounds out the Country Cup against New Zealand Weka in the seventh place playoff at The Scots School Albury at 9.30am on Saturday.
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