Last month we took a 14U team of all-star players from SE Qld to Melbourne for the AAU Australia Spring Madness Tournament that included teams from NSW, VIC, SA and Canberra. Not only did this group of committed players win the Grand Final, they did so by annihilating most of the competition. The team led by Coach Justin Andrews went 6-0 to capture the championship and put the nation on notice. I say that because since I arrived in Qld in 2013 from the United States, the skill level of Queensland boys AND girls basketball has gotten progressively better. In years past the VIC teams would have crushed most teams from any state however, in just the last 5 years through a concerted and committed effort by some very good local high school coaches, and a few quality basketball academies like Be Elite and the Kerle Academy, the coaching of our local boys and girls has improved and provided our children quality opportunities to be coached up properly, through camps, clinics and group trainings.
And with that said, there is still room for improvement at the high school level. Some APS schools barely have basketball teams that can compete at any level. More needs to be done for these kids. Before and after school skills training, weight training and competitive leagues and/or matches for teams to play in during the off-season. Just a few suggestions to improve the skill level of players across SE Qld.
The bar and expectation needs to be raised across the entire state not only for the same 10-12 players who make the state team year in and year out, but for the entire basketball community. Raise the bar, raise the standard and raise the expectation of players and you'll be surprised at how well they will step up, ball out and meet those expectations. That's what we do at Be Elite and these young men in the picture certainly did in Melbourne last month and Coach Andrews and I couldn't be any prouder!
Coach Tom Haupt
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