Headed to nationals

Big challenge: Vic Country Under 16s captain Christian Beecroft (at left) and Lenny Maxwell are busy preparing to play in the Nationals.

A combination of hard training and an abundance of talent has earned Christian Beecroft and Lenny Maxwell a place in the Victorian Country Under 16s basketball team to soon play in the national championships in Bendigo.

Gisborne Bulldogs and Sunbury Jets are thrilled with their selection at this level, illustrating their continual improvement and dedication to the sport in recent seasons.

Beecroft, aged 15, has also been named captain of the Vic Country squad, and Maxwell – a 14-year-old who resides in Gisborne – is equally excited to have reached this level.

They are also cousins, and enjoy plenty of family support in their favourite sport.

Both are part of Basketball Victoria’s state development program, and they would love to see big crowds and lots of locals coming to Bendigo to support their lineup against the other states.

The two boys, who both play as guards, train hard every day with long-term ambitions to try to emulate other teenagers who have eventually gone on to represent their country.

As part of the SDP, they train once a week at Bendigo, and see the venue as giving them a home-court advantage against the other states in the Nationals, which take place from July 6-14.

Beecroft attends Assumption College at Kilmore, and Maxwell goes to Maribyrnong Sports Academy.

Gisborne Bulldogs and Sunbury Jets are part of a resurgence of basketball in the district.

The boys play domestically each week for Gisborne Bulldogs, and line up in the Sunbury Jets team in the VJBL on Friday nights.
Their clubs wish them well at Bendigo.

Gisborne Bulldogs secretary, Lisa Peavey, said the local club had produced five players who had made it to the Nationals in the past two years.

“We are extremely proud of the boys and the programs we run to support all the players who strive to play at higher levels,” she said.
“From junior leagues to elite training camps, we provide opportunities for all to reach their full potential.
“We are fortunate to have several experienced coaches, parents, and committee members who are willing to dedicate their time to developing all our players.
“It’s all helped by our wonderful sponsors who enable us to provide these opportunities to our players.
“At the Gisborne Bulldogs, we are committed to helping every player achieve their basketball dreams,” the secretary concluded.