BRINGING back the All-State Camp for 2020, Basketball Victoria’s High Performance coaching staff brought together 340 elite junior players to Bendigo Stadium over the weekend.
The State Development Program (SDP) All State Camp was held in regional Victoria, with players from Country and Metropolitan Hubs participating in the two-day event in Bendigo.
Adding to the High Performance offering for our elite athletes in 2020, the SDP All-State Camp helps our elite junior participants in the under-16 and under-18 age groups enhance their skills across the board and push towards state and national representation in years to come.
Learning from our High Performance, Hub and development coaches, having endurance and fitness testing by Core Advantage as well as taking seminars from Lisa Middleton (Nutrition) and Frank Arsego (Wellbeing), it was a big, but important, weekend for the athletes as they worked on all aspects of themselves as basketballers.
The camps also served as a fantastic development opportunity for Victoria’s ever-burgeoning coaching ranks with a number of fresh faces joining the ranks alongside an incredible amount of female coaches advancing through the pathway.
“This All-State Camp was something we wanted to bring back – it’s really important that whilst we compete Metro and Country, we are ultimately all under the one banner that is Victoria,” BV High Performance Head Coach (Metro Women) Jenni Screen said. “We should be a proud state and come together when we do have the opportunity.
“Being allowed to come to country Victoria and being in this state of the art facility – 10 basketball courts, with quality facilities in the country region is also important as it allows our Metro kids to understand what it’s like for our Country kids that have to travel all the time.”
Building up the capabilities and knowledge of our SDP group, our coaches pushed the players to take on board the skill and fundamental teachings that the Australian team and international leagues around the world demand of players.
Teaching our next generation how to be elite at all levels of the game, with an eye on state, national and international league possibilities in the future, it’s a task that’s crucial to ensure the state’s cavalcade of extraordinary talent continues to excel in all avenues of the sport.
High Performance Head Coach (Country Men) Nathan Cooper-Brown said the SDP All-State Camp gives incredible opportunities for players across the entirety of Victoria.
“It’s a fantastic weekend to allow our Country and Metro athletes to come together, compete, enjoy spending time with one and other and embracing being part of what we think is a very special program,” Cooper-Brown said. “It’s a learning environment, but our kids are engaged – they want to be here they want to get better and want to explore the opportunities of playing against kids they don’t usually see, so it’s going very well”
“We’ve identified a few points of emphasis with on court development at the moment – offensively we are working on end of penetration execution – how we’re being more effective after being able to beat our primary defender, get feet in the paint and cause those defensive rotations.
“Defensively it’s about guarding your yard and being able to close out, contain the ball and being better in those 1v1 contests, and those are a couple of things we’ve identified from tournaments and international play and it’s good to expose the athletes to them this weekend.”
With extra coaching resources and additional staff members available to hone our state’s high performance athletes, Screen said it is aiding in finding even more elite players and give them better opportunities with the SDP.
“Basketball Victoria has done a great job with hiring four high performance coaches and allows us to reach further and with the hub coaches it allows another 10 eyes as well, so now we’re starting to find not just the great players, but the good players that need opportunity and the State Development Program is massive for that,” Screen said. “SDP exposes these kids, who ultimately may not get those opportunities, to elite basketball and what is required in the pathway that maybe one day they’ll get to wear the green and gold or the navy and white in the state teams.”
While on the court success and working through the Basketball Victoria curriculum is important, Screen said the emphasis for development will highlight wellbeing and health across the board, ensuring athletes are always supported through this program and into the future.
“As well as the skill acquisition for the players, it’s important that we focus on the holistic athlete – the greatest thing about these programs that we run is that we expose them to different facets that are also important to becoming a professional athlete,” Screen said. “We’re working on health and wellbeing and nutrition, but the facet we’ve really tried to focus on this year is their wellbeing and how to deal with their mental health – just knowing what some of the key factors or things to look for in case someone is struggling which I think is important.
“Giving these kids the tools to add to their toolkit so that when they’re needed they can call upon them at any time.”