Young Aussie Boomers fall to NZ Tall Blacks

With the Olympic Games scheduled in the not too distant future, the full preparation period for National teams is now looming large.

In the latest of these games, Australia’s Boomers have been soundly beaten by the NZ Tall Blacks. It was actually a qualifying game for the FIBA Asia Cup of 2021.

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Read about it here…

NZ Stars Turn Missing Finals Pain into Win Over Boomers

Motivated by Brisbane Bullets and New Zealand Breakers players who just missed NBL Finals spots and then by two guards gearing up for the post-season, the Tall Blacks delivered an impressive showing to beat the Australian Boomers 108-98 on Thursday.

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The game was the first match in the qualifying stages for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup and the Tall Blacks made a winning start to Group C competition in an impressive display after the Boomers started on fire hitting the game’s first nine points at Brisbane’s Nissan Arena.

New Zealand overcame the slow start to turn on the impressive performance in Pero Cameron’s first game in charge as coach. It was the Tall Blacks’ first win over the Boomers since 2009 breaking a run of nine straight defeats, and doubling as their third ever victory on Australian soil.

It’s a very much a youthful Boomers team that was under the coach of Will Weaver for the first time but they still kept fighting right to the end only to be knocked back by New Zealand.

Less than a week after being part of Brisbane’s massive 36-point win on the same court against the Cairns Taipans that gave the Bullets a finals sniff in the NBL, Reuben Te Rangi made up for a frustrating campaign at club land with a brilliant performance for the Tall Blacks.

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Even though that huge win wasn’t quite enough for a finals spot for the Bullets, Te Rangi put that behind him and delivered 21 points, six rebounds and five assists.

Having been the NBL’s Most Improved Player and Best Sixth Man 12 months ago, it was a 2019/20 campaign to forget for Te Rangi, but he didn’t let that bother him on Thursday night going on to shoot 8/14 from the field and 4/7 from deep in 31 minutes.

Another player who would have been frustrated to not be preparing for an NBL finals campaign right now was Rob Loe. The Breakers finished the season on fire but narrowly missed the post-season.

But Loe finished the season in career-best form and carried that into the Asian Cup qualifier with 19 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals for his country including a late dagger three to seal the deal.

Then there was Loe’s Breakers teammate Jordan Ngatai who also shook off the disappointment of missing NBL finals to produce 19 points including three triples.

Shea Ili (21 points, six rebounds, five assists) and Jarrod Kenny (10 points, two assists) are two players with NBL finals to look forward to at Melbourne and Cairns respectively, and both shared the point guard duties impressively for New Zealand.

Dion Prewster was impressive as well with 10 points and four rebounds.

Tall Blacks coach Pero Cameron was proud of the efforts of his team and the way the game was played in his first time officially in charge of New Zealand.

“Firstly there’s nothing like being in the hot seat and having these last three days, and some of the things our players have dealt with have been phenomenal. I just have to congratulate and acknowledge their commitment and support to the Tall Blacks singlet,” Cameron said.

“I’m just so happy to have this job and I think for anyone to coach their own country, it’s an amazing feeling. As far as this game goes, for what it was it was good to see all the players out there just giving their all.

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“I felt the energy levels were high and that type of basketball is entertaining. I don’t mind if it’s not entertaining as long as I win, but I thought both sides went at it hammer and tongs, and my boys played really well.

There were a host of Boomers debutants and Angus Glover (eight points, five rebounds), Sunday Dech (eight points), Sam Froling, Kyle Adnam (12 points) and Dane Pineau (two points) all had their moments in their first appearances in the senior national team.

Illawarra Hawks 283-game veteran Todd Blanchfield top-scored for the Boomers with 17 points and six rebounds with Nathan Sobey adding 13 points, four boards three assists and three steals, Matt Hodgson 11 points and nine rebounds, and Jason Cadee 11 points, eight boards and five assists.

First-time Boomers coach Will Weaver ultimately just felt the Tall Blacks shooting the ball better and Australia missing 13 free-throws were significant factors in the result.

“We shot it decent from three but the free-throw line was probably the space you’d say we would regret some of those opportunities,” Weaver said.

“But that also comes down to some of the fatigue with these guys coming off the season and it was a physical game. It was fast and both teams were running after makes, but 50 per cent from the free-throw line rarely gets it done in a close game.”

But moving forward, Weaver is excited to be blooding so many fresh faces into the Boomers setup.

“We are trying to sew the seeds that will be reaped down the line. This is a four-year cycle that we’re preparing to endeavour to perform well at the end of,” Weaver said.

“A big part in that is investing in the younger players and even though we only had two practices, those guys have gotten a lot better and they will be better still against Hong Kong and along down the line. It just develops the base of talent we have to select from in these situations.”

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Both teams back up to play another game on Sunday with the Tall Blacks away to Tai Wesley and Guam while the Boomers host Hong Kong back at Nissan Arena.

Source: nbl.com.au

Nellakir support the advancement of Basketball in Australia and are the leading experts in the installation of all sprung Timber Sports Flooring in Victoria and Tasmania.

With new Multipurpose Sports Flooring being installed this month at Sirius College Keysborough as well as Twin Rivers Primary in Echuca (another State Government PPP Project), the team is very busy.

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Then in March, the Victorian Netball and Hockey Centre project commences with 11 new professional Sprung Timber Courts being constructed using full stumped ASF/Horner Sports Flooring Systems.

For all your Timber Sports Flooring requirements – Installation, maintenance and scheduled court cleaning, call Nellakir on 03 9467 6126 for a prompt response. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your particular needs. Or simply leave your details here for a prompt response.

Nellakir – Sports Flooring for Champions.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

Boomers On Target for Olympic Games 2020

After failing again, falling at the last hurdle, the Boomers missed out on a medal by the narrowest of margins – again, in China.

But it’s certainly not all doom and gloom in the Australian team camp with much to look forward to.

Add Ben Simmons to the mix and the gaps begin to be filled. Dante Exum, Jonah Bolden and Thon Maker will present an overall formidable team of internationals currently playing at the highest level.

Read about it here

The Boomers’ emerging generation offers hope to finally break our medal drought at the Tokyo Olympics

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The Boomers failed to win a basketball World Cup medal — again.

The World Cup in China represented the Boomers’ best chance to scale the heights of men’s basketball: devoid of superstars, the United States had fallen; the powerful Serbians, too, perished after a shock loss.

But there are no guarantees in elite sport as the Boomers found out against a veteran Spanish team well-rehearsed in winning medals at major events.

Had Patty Mills not missed a late free throw in the semi-final match against Spain, we could today be hailing the Boomers as World Champions.

Instead, the Australians were dragged through an epic double-overtime loss that left them physically and emotionally drained.

So small are the margins in international basketball that the Boomers ultimately leave China empty-handed.

It was no surprise to see them settle for fourth after a predictable loss to France in the playoff for Bronze — Australia’s tank simply ran dry.

As brilliant as the Boomers campaign was through their first six matches, flaws were exposed when it mattered.

The Boomers had to rely too heavily on too few in their quest to win their first medal at a major competition.

No one could question the commitment of Patty Mills and Joe Ingles.

Mills finished as the tournament’s third leading scorer while Ingles routinely made important plays.

Yet as their minutes grew, their effectiveness diminished. Depth became an issue.

The Australians used a nine-man rotation across the tournament.

Three members of Australia’s 12-man squad — Nathan Sobey, Cameron Gliddon and David Barlow — combined for less than seven minutes of total court time.

But on the evidence of this campaign, Australia is in tremendous shape for a breakthrough performance at the 2020 Olympics.

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Joe Ingles of was one of Australia’s most consistent performers at the 2019 basketball World Cup, in China.

The likes of Mills, Ingles, Matthew Dellavedova and Andrew Bogut are still hungry for international success, and while they may carry the scars of heartbreaking finishes at World Cups and Olympic Games, NBA-based reinforcements are on the way.

The game changer in Tokyo will be Ben Simmons.

The 23-year-old Philadelphia 76ers point guard is already considered the best male basketballer Australia has ever produced and is expected to make himself available for next year’s Olympic Games.

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Ben Simmons will carry the hopes of a team — and a nation — at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Simmons is the future of Australian men’s basketball and his inclusion would likely lead to a seismic shift in the way the Boomers play.

If the coaching staff and team veterans embrace what he brings in playmaking, the Boomers will be feared by everyone.

Simmons has often spoken about his desire to represent his nation on the world stage. Leading Australia to a first men’s Olympic medal would be a perfect way to start.

But Simmons will not be the only fresh face expected to be available for the campaign.

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If he’s fit, Dante Exum will bring plenty of speed and athleticism to the Boomers’ Olympic squad.

Utah Jazz guard Dante Exum missed the World Cup while recovering from a serious knee injury (not the first of his brief professional career) but wants in on what the Boomers are building.

Simmons’ Philadelphia teammate Jonah Bolden and Detroit big man Thon Maker are both expected to be available. Australia could effectively field a 12-man team made up entirely of overseas-based players.

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At 7ft 1in (216cm), Thon Maker would definitely bolster the Boomers’ big man stocks at Tokyo.

Of course, much can happen between now and Tokyo 2020.

Just ask USA basketball about the vagaries of player availability; of the 35 players initially selected in the USA’s player pool for the World Cup, only four ended up on the final roster — largely due to player drop-outs.

Unfortunately for the Boomers and every other Olympic basketball nation, the embarrassment of a 7th-placed finish for Team USA will spur America’s legion of NBA superstars to restore dignity at international level.

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Team USA will be out to atone for their miserable World Cup showing at the Tokyo Olympics.

The household names will be back and the desire to dominate will return.

So while Australia’s medal chances have never been brighter, Olympic gold may remain elusive.

Source: abc.net.au

Nellakir applaud the efforts of the Boomers and wish them well in their pre-Olympic preparation.

For expert construction, installation, maintenance and scheduled cleaning of all high performance Timber Sports Flooring call Nellakir now for a free no-obligation quote. Call 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

Nellakir – Sports Flooring for Champions

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

The Sporting Schools program – Helping Kids become Champions

In Australia, no matter where you live there is a great opportunity for your kids to play competitive basketball. The Australian Government through its Sporting Schools program provides funding and support for a range of programs suitable for the introduction of young children to the game. It does this through programs like ‘Aussie Hoops’ in co-operation with Basketball Australia.

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Here are the details, courtesy of the Sporting Schools website…

Essentials for Schools

Vicinity Centres Aussie Hoops is Basketball Australia’s official junior game development program for 5-10 year olds.  Adapted for the school setting, Vicinity Centres Aussie Hoops introduces children to basketball with a nationally accredited coaching curriculum and a program consisting of warm-up games, skill activities and modified games all delivered by accredited coaches.

Program Details

Basketball Australia has assembled a network of experienced, passionate local coaches from clubs and associations who will deliver Vicinity Centres Aussie Hoops programs in your school.

Programs include:

  • A fun and engaging basketball program, delivered by accredited coaches
  • Offers to students for continued basketball involvement at a local club
  • Nationally endorsed curriculum linked to F-10 outcomes
  • State/Territory and National service and administration fee

Registered school contacts can login to their Sporting Schools account to access the Booking System and view all the packages available in more detail. You can also visit the Sporting Schools Help Centre for further information.

Can Teachers Deliver?

Yes, teachers can deliver basketball in Sporting Schools by meeting the requirements below.

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You will need to:

  • Hold a valid state and/or territory teacher registration
  • Confirm adequacy of insurance

And meet the following requirements:

  • Basketball Australia Community Coach Accreditation
  • Contact State Sporting Organisation for Endorsement

Equipment

After having booked a program or receiving approval for a teacher delivered program, schools can purchase an array of Vicinity Centres Aussie Hoops Sporting Schools Resources. Download your order form here.

Contact

For booking enquiries please visit the contacts page of the Sporting Schools website to find your state contact.

Optional Extras

Contact your State/Territory Aussie Hoops Coordinator about the following Sporting Schools basketball experiences:

  • Professional player visits
  • Stadium visits

Additionally, once your students have had a taste of Aussie Hoops through Sporting Schools, they are invited to join one of over 250 Vicinity Centres Aussie Hoops programs delivered nationally each Term, where they receive a participant pack including:

  • Green/Gold Aussie Hoops reversible singlet
  • Spalding Aussie Hoops size-5 basketball, modified to suit small hands
  • Aussie Hoops backpack

Contact your coaching provider or State/Territory Aussie Hoops Coordinator about your school hosting an Vicinity Centres Aussie Hoops program after-school each term, for either your own students or the general community.

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Ultimately, some kids develop into sensational athletes and get the opportunity to create real careers playing the game they love. And they get to play that game for their country in the Olympic Games! What an honour.

Here’s some good advice from Rachel Jarry, Dual Olympian and Australian Opal.

School Yard to Sports Star: Rachel Jarry

What are your memories of playing sport at school? Did you play any other sports?

I remember playing many different sports at school. I always loved being part of a team and playing with friends. As well as basketball I played netball, softball, newcombe/volleyball, AFL and lacrosse. There were probably more that I’m forgetting!

How did you get started in the sport of basketball?

I started playing at school and then my Mum started a domestic club out of my primary school so some other friends and I could play. My first team was an Under 8 mixed team where the boys on my team played ‘keepings off’ with the girls! Fair to say I learnt to play defence pretty quickly so I could get the ball back off my own team mates.

When did you realise that you could compete at the highest level?

I always had that goal and once I was in my late teens I realised it was a possibility. However, I probably never really believed I would until I actually got the call up to the Opals squad at age 19.

What was it like being selected for the Australian squad at such a young age with many older team mates?

It was a bit intimidating but also very humbling. I had played for the Bulleen Boomers in the WNBL with some amazing veteran team mates so I knew how valuable learning from experienced players would be. The older Opals girls really helped me find my feet and were always so supportive. I’m very grateful for the team mates I had as they made me feel so comfortable in a very intense environment.

What are your top 3 tips to children about playing sport?

  1. Play a range of different sports. It’s fun to try different things and you might find something you like that you wouldn’t expect!
  2. Always have good sportsmanship. Whether you win or lose, make sure you shake your opponent’s hand and thank the referees.
  3. Enjoy yourself! Sport is fun and you should always be having a good time.

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So from that humble asphalt school yard court in suburban or country Victoria, the sprung timber sports flooring of Olympic competition awaits every five year old who starts to play the beautiful game of Basketball.

Whether it’s a huge stadium in Tokyo in 2020 in front of an audience of millions or simply that new court at the Geelong Special School on a Saturday afternoon – play the game – Basketball – and enjoy it.

Nellakir – champion competition sports flooring – where champions are made.

Olympic Recognition of Netball

When children take up a sport, they like to dream of the future. Young guys become Test Cricketers, AFL and NBA stars. In 1995 young girls could finally aspire to the Olympic dream. It took over 25 years of lobbying the Olympic IOC for this recognition but in granting it, an important formal requirement for recognition has now been met. So now young Netballers can truly aspire to become Olympians.

Still it is a slow process. In 2016 Rugby Sevens and Golf, games primarily played by men, were included before Netball. Netball has to date never been played at the Summer Olympics. Predominantly a game played in Commonwealth countries, Olympic recognition provides impetus, and more importantly funding for faster global growth of the game.

According to some pundits, the slow acceptance of Netball is in line with the overall slow acceptance of women’s sports or sports predominantly played by women. As late as 1996, 26 countries sent no women to the Olympics. Olympic recognition opened up funding through the International Olympic Committee (IOC), national Olympic committees and sports organisations through State and Federal Governments.

Currently Nellakir is contracted on a number of Victorian State Government Private Public Partnership projects which see new high standard sprung timber sports floored Netball courts supplied and built in many new Primary and Secondary schools. These Netball courts are also used by the local community for weekend and weeknight competition and by the schools themselves as Assembly Halls and as Gymnasiums, with other competitive sports such as Basketball and Volleyball also being played on these superb surfaces.

Netball has become a permanent Olympic recognised sport as of 1995. Recognition has ensured that Netball’s national associations worldwide can become full members of their nation’s national Olympics committees. The All Australian Netball Association is one of these national organisations and it has become a full member of Australia’s national Olympic committee.

The International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) recognition by the IOC was renewed in 2004. IFNA has made Olympic recognition part of its long term strategy to grow the game.

Netball remains the most popular women’s spectator sport in Australia, but recently this has been challenged with the emergence of the AFLWC. Needless to say that whilst a young girl from Mill Park or Belmont in Geelong can dream of donning her country’s National colours at the Olympic Games, the game of Netball has now created a solid foundation. Let’s look forward to some more Aussie Glory in 2020 in Tokyo – in Netball!