WARRNAMBOOL Mermaids’ youngest team wants to make a splash at the Seaside Junior Basketball Classic this weekend.
The Damien Bishop-coached under 12 side will make its representative tournament debut.
“They are all brand new to tournament play and the majority, bar three, have just started domestic basketball,” Bishop said. “It’s totally unknown. Most of them are still learning the sport, so they’re thrown in the deep end.”
Bishop has assembled an 11-player squad for the 2013-14 representative basketball season.
Ava Bishop, Amber Hay and Hannah McGowan are the only players who played at domestic level last season.
“We have 11 in the squad and only 10 will play each tournament,” said.
“They’ll get even court time to help them develop over the course of the squad season.
“It’s not all about winning but about getting skills and developing games.
“It’s good to have a win but it’s not the main aim.
“It’s good for ball skills, hand-eye co-ordination and decision-making.”
The Mermaids’ under 12 girls will play two tournaments — Warrnambool and Mount Gambier — before the Christmas break and three afterwards in Hamilton, Portland and Colac.
“On how they go there, we’ll make a decision on the (country Victoria) championships in Traralgon,” Bishop said.
He said competitions and training would be focused on improvement and ensuring players weren’t lost to the sport in their teenage years.
“The ball was dropped with the girls a little while ago but we’re on the way back and numbers are fairly good at the moment,” he said.
Bishop said Warrnambool Basketball Incorporated had four under 12 and five under 14 girls’ teams playing in the domestic competition and with the summer season in its infancy, interested players were encouraged to turn up on Monday nights before the teams were finalised.
Warrnambool has entered 15 teams in its annual junior classic, which has attracted 81 teams.
The two-day tournament, which starts early Saturday morning, will run at the Arc, Brauer College, St Joseph’s Primary School and St John’s Primary School.