Altona Gators have been rising steadily in junior basketball.
The Gators have been a regular fixture in the Victorian Junior Basketball League and had success at Big V basketball youth league finals.
Now the cream of the Gators’ crop is rising to the state teams.
This summer, six Altona Gators are representing Vic Metro on the national stage.
At under-16 level, head coach Kate Coffey and player Amy O’Hara will pull on the blue and white at the Southern Cross Challenge.
Coffey was selected by Vic Metro high-performance coach Michael Czepil to be an assistant coach.
O’Hara was picked after a series of selection camps throughout last year.
Gators coaching director Randy Shanklin sees the selection successes as a boon for the club.
“The Southern Cross Challenge is the beginning of the high-performance pathway for identified athletes, coaches and officials,” he said. “The tournament is positioned to aid the development of those identified, providing an opportunity to partake in an elite tournament setting as they represent their state against some of the best basketball talent from around the country.”
Under-16 player Monique Marcetic-Vaotangi and under-18 player Kayla Salmons are headed to the East Coast Challenge.
Marcetic-Vaotangi was part of a triumphant Vic Metro team at the Southern Cross Challenge last year.
“Both of these young ladies were selected through a trial process of selection camps in 2017,” Shanklin said.
Cassidy Gould and Kobe King-Hawea are heading to the under-20 Australian Junior Championships.
Gould, who has landed a
South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL) contract with Diamond Valley for 2018, is mulling over an opportunity to play division 1 basketball in the US college system.
Gould, a Deeble award rising star nominee, has represented Victoria multiple times, as well as Australia.
King-Hawea is a scholarship holder at the Centre of Excellence in Canberra, where she will also plays SEABL basketball against her former teammates.
Shanklin predicts that King-Hawea will also be fielding a number of US college scholarship offers after this season.