Naracoorte Basketball Tournament attracts hundreds to region

TOURNAMENT: Naracoorte Kings player Ollie Wardle, middle, with Jack duRand and Riley McMullan during a game last year. PHOTO: File
TOURNAMENT: Naracoorte Kings player Ollie Wardle, middle, with Jack duRand and Riley McMullan during a game last year. PHOTO: File

Hundreds of young basketballers, their coaches and their families will descend on Naracoorte next week for the annual Naracoorte Basketball Tournament.

With 70 teams signed up from around the South East, Victoria and the Riverland, the event, which will be held on Saturday February 27 and Sunday February 28, is predicted to provide a boost to local businesses around town.

Naracoorte Basketball Association Squad chairperson Shane Kavanagh said around 700 children were expected to play in 155 games across five locations.

"We have under 10s this year, and we'll have the under 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s," he said.

"We can't fit them on the Naracoorte courts, so they'll all play across five courts - Naracoorte Sports Complex, Naracoorte High school, Naracoorte South School, Lucindale and Penola.

"We just need a bigger stadium. We are trying to get a new one through the council, they are looking at a masterplan for what will hopefully be a four floor basketball court," he said.

"It's a long way down the track but the wheels are turning.

"It would be brilliant - we sort of struggle now because we have to use Penola and Lucindale, which makes it hard for people to travel, but it's the only way to cover all the courts we need."

Teams are coming from the Riverland, Bordertown, Mt Gambier, Millicent, Horsham and Casterton, although the committee is prepared for the worse, with a backup plan in place if border restrictions prevent the Victorian teams from playing.

It's been a busy month for the Naracoorte players, who have played in two other carnivals this month in the Riverland and Mt Gambier.

"Naracoorte have done pretty well (at the carnivals)- they've won some grand finals across the different divisions."

The players will go to Adelaide to play in the SA Country Championships in March.

Mr Kavanagh said the weekend was sure to be a hit with local businesses.

"The takeaways get busy, it's good for the businesses,' he said.

"A lot of the accommodation is booked out."

Spectators are invited to watch the games, COVID restrictions will be in place.