The pathway through Victorian basketball

AS a community, every association throughout the Melbourne Utd. Victorian Junior Basketball League hones and develops fantastic players and coaches.

This is never more evident than when Basketball Victoria selects its teams for national championship duties and you start to run through the rosters. Casting an eye across those rosters you see numerous associations recognised and celebrated, it’s a great honour to have players from your MUVJBL teams elevated to the state colours.

Most of the players who will don Victoria Metropolitan or Victoria Country singlets at the upcoming Australian Under-16 Junior Championships – held 6-13 July on the Sunshine Coast – have come through the ranks here within the MUVJBL.

From their first steps on court as eager, fresh-faced under-12s grabbing rebounds and hoisting whole-body jump shots, to their time joining their chosen Vic Metro or Vic Country teams… we’ve seen them rise. It is fantastic to watch talented juniors progress through the pathway as they grow into state representatives, senior players and even Boomers or Opals.

The represented associations deserve all the credit in the world for ensuring the platform for Victorian representatives was set.

Hard work never goes unnoticed as we see these champion players and coaches rise through the MUVJBL towards our VC competitions, onto the National Junior Classic and Australian Under-14 Club Championships before making the leap to representative duties.

East Coast Challenge, Southern Cross Challenge, Australian Junior Country Basketball Cup… our players feature in a variety of elite lead-up tournaments that are considered the tentative first steps of the likely Victorian representatives.

The national championships are a celebration of the Victorian basketball community and those diligent, hard-working administrators, coaches and volunteers that make our league tick. Without your efforts, our stars would not shine as brightly. The MUVJBL is the envy of every other state due to the high-calibre competition our players and coaches face week-in, week-out. For nearly every week of the year, they’re in the midst of elite competition. Our players know that Friday night is the time to dial in and shoot for success. Our junior coaches, managers and everyone involved at their associations work towards Friday night. They see the possibilities afforded to elite juniors and ensure they rise to meet that standard.

When those juniors don the state singlets and make their way to all points of the country to compete, it is incredible to witness. Better yet, we know that they will return after those championships and those life-changing experiences to improve our league and help their MUVJBL sides attain even greater accomplishments.

It’s a fantastic loop of success building upon success, hard work inspiring further hard work and talent helping hone even more talented players.

We just saw Ben Simmons rise up the ranks in his NBA Rookie of the Year winning season – and he’s just one of many MUVJBL success stories. No matter how far Victorians go with their basketball, it gives us great joy to know they started elite journeys with us. They forged their discipline, ironed out the errors in their games and made sure they were ready to take on the state’s finest each and every week.

So, we want to wish the best of luck to our MUVJBL representatives taking part in the national championships. This is an experience you’ll never forget and for whatever small part playing in this league has helped you reach this level, we’re proud to see you attain these achievements and even more to come.

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