Five local Big V stars showcased their skills in front of the who’s who of the National Basketball League earlier this week.
The five were among more than 50 state league basketballers, invited to the inaugural NBL Pro combine in Knox.
The combine, similar to those run in America for the National Basketball Association, gives the best basketball talent in Australia the chance to test their skills in front of coaches, club scouts and officials, with the hope of earning an NBL contract.
Among those scouting the talent was former Olympian and new Sydney Kings coach Andrew Gaze and Adelaide 36ers coach Joey Wright.
Two players from the Sunbury Jets and one each from Keilor Thunder, Whittlesea Pacers and Craigieburn Eagles took part in the combine.
Jets duo Ish Sanders and Mitchell Newton have both impressed in their first season in the Big V.
Sanders has been a scoring machine since joining the Jets from America, averaging 30 points per game and has had six 30-plus points games.
Newton has been his partner in crime, averaging almost 19 points per game, and has been just as strong in defence averaging 11.4 rebounds.
Whittlesea Pacers’ Chris Kaba is another player who has made an impact in his first season in Australia and the Big V. Kaba has been the standout in a side which has won only two games, averaging 22 points and 11 rebounds per game.
Keilor’s Eric Miraflores was one of the veterans of the combine group. The Philippines national moved to Australia in 2004 and has played for various Big V sides. This is his first year at the Thunder.
The combine was a chance for Craigieburn’s Jonathan Maybank, to get some court time in what has been a very tough year.
The American import played with the Eagles last season, earning all star-5 selection, but is yet to take to the court this season because of visa issues.