Warrnambool Basketball Association has started discussions with Warrnambool City Council for more courts at its Caramut Road home following a significant increase in its junior numbers.
Development officer Mike McGorm said the association's junior program had emerged from the coronavirus pandemic and various lockdowns stronger while other indoor sports had struggled.
"This time last year after the first lockdown there were 58 kids in our Thursday development program and now it's at 153," he told The Standard.
"Our numbers have trebled and our increased participation rate is all down to the work we did over the lockdown as we had a major focus on keeping in contact with all our members during that time.
"We had Zoom meetings with top basketball people like (NBA star) Joe Ingles, (NBL player) Mitch Creek and Warrnambool's own Trevor Gleeson, and they are still up on our Facebook.
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"Twice a week we ran training doing some ball handling and shooting work outs and that connection with our members has really increased our standing in community and the numbers are showing that."
McGorm said school visits combined with the community engagement during the pandemic contributed to the steep rise in the number of juniors across the year.
"I've targeted schools and have been doing school visits and most of term three is already booked," he said.
"With the visits I am going to schools and getting kids in the right ages and into the programs that they are suitable for and that has worked well.
"Community engagement during lockdown and school visits are two areas that have worked really well for us."
McGorm, who has been development officer since 2019, said the numbers had remained steady through recent lockdowns and he anticipated more growth.
"Basketball is an easy sell and the NBL going from strength to strength and having Australians in the NBA is helping that," he said.
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"Basketball is still only scratching at surface and in five years' time it's going to be in a golden age and we doing what we can do to maximise that.
"I see massive numbers increase in the short and long term and if Australia wins a medal at the Olympics that could be the next big thing for the participation to grow from there."
The association's Mini Seahawks and Mermaids and under 10s programs as well as under 12, 14, 16 and 18 age groups are all thriving.
Its under 18 boys are entering the finals of the first season of the Warrnambool Seahawks Championship League while its under 10s and 12s programs are overflowing with participants.
"We've actually proposed to council that we need more courts because if we keep getting this many kids through the door we won't have enough," McGorm said of the situation at the Arc.
"We're working behind the scenes to get something done because the numbers are blowing up."
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