Junior basketballer Lewis Gommers is excited to see the transformation of Warrnambool Storm's new 3x3 facilities in coming months after winning one of the first finals held at the new venue.
The Storm, whose courts were first located at the former Warrnambool Fire Station, has moved its operations to the old Sam's Warehouse building. They held their first exhibition tournament at the site on Saturday.
Gommers, 12, was one of a number of players contesting the event, with the Emmanuel College student's team Storm Chasers coming out on top in the under 13 final before he suited up in the under 15s for the Cyclones.
"It's really exciting, it's just expanding bigger and bigger and there is better opportunities," Gommers said of the new facilities. "Hopefully it's even bigger (in 12 months) than it is now."
Gommers, who holds a membership with the Storm, trains with head of coaching and development Mike McGorm once a week.
He said he realised how fun 3x3 basketball was once he had a go and has kept up playing alongside his 5x5 commitments at Warrnambool Basketball as a top age under 14 player.
The faster pace 3x3 game, which has a 12-second shot clock, has helped Gommers' game overall and "pushed him outside his comfort zone".
McGorm said the new facility, which will be upgraded over a 12-month period to include four half-courts and two full-sized wooden floor courts, was much-needed after they out-grew their old site.
"The need was there, we saw that, so we had to move," he said.
It just opens up a world of possibilities really.- Mike McGorm
McGorm said the future additions meant they could use the full courts for training and 5x5 competitions, while there is scope for NBL teams to visit and hold clinics in the facility in the future.
"It just opens up a world of possibilities really, what you can do," he said.
The site will have primarily a development focus, according to McGorm.
"Along the walls will be all ball machines where kids can get up a 1000 shots an hour," he said. "It has the machine that kicks the ball out to them.
"It's going to help develop the young athletes of Warrnambool if they want to succeed at basketball."
The club also boasts a social focus, with some members solely using the facilities for pick up games rather than competition.
"We have a lot of shift workers who come at night," McGorm said. "They just come take up shots, they're not playing any comps, they just enjoy shooting hoops.
"It's good for your elite athletes but also your social player."
Adelaide Pride won the tournament's elite men's category, defeating the Bench Warmers 15-13 in the final.
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