BASKETBALL Australia’s national shooting coach has predicted a “golden age” for future national teams, such is the level of talent on display at the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup.
Brad Davidson, who as a player enjoyed a long career in the National Basketball League and was a gold medallist at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, said Australia’s junior playing stocks were filled with potential champions for years ahead.
Also BA’s talent identification manager, Davidson spends much of his time at tournaments such as the cup, casting his eye over the best and brightest juniors.
And he likes what he sees.
“I think the direction from Andrej (Lemanis) and Brendan (Joyce) (Boomers and Opals coaches) is filtering down to this level, which does take some time.
“But I think the boys are about to enter a golden age; we’ve always been very strong with the Opals and the girls, hopefully we can now have both groups in medal contention at the world championships and the Olympics.”
With BA’s Australian Development Camp set to start next Monday at Canberra’s Centre of Excellence, Davidson was taking a look at the 11 players at the cup who have also been invited to the week of elite coaching and training.
Among the invitees are Seymour’s under-18 duo of Genna Ogier and Chloe Molloy, who are playing for the Bushrangers and Goldminers respectively
Both Albury’s Montana Farrah-Seaton and Wod- onga’s Trent McMullan, who are not playing at the cup, also received invites to the development camp.
“Part of coming here was to take a look at these players before the camp,” Davidson said.
With a record number of Australian players now plying their trade in the NBA — including Cleveland guard Matthew Dellavedova, who previously played at the Country Cup — Davidson said the ongoing battle to keep elite junior talent from defecting to football codes had become easier.
“It’s about the right pathways, so the kids can see themselves being the next Mills or Bogut or Dante Exum.
“This carnival gives the kids a great forum to see how they stack up against the best from around Australia.”