United in town ahead of season

Melbourne United players ran a clinic for students from St Thomas’ Primary School, while in Gippsland for the Blitz tournament.

Melbourne United players ran a clinic for students from St Thomas’ Primary School, while in Gippsland for the Blitz tournament.

HUNDREDS of students across Gippsland got to meet some of Australia's best basketballers as past of the National Basketball League Blitz tournament.

In Sale, the Melbourne United squad ran a clinic for St Thomas' Primary School and Maffra Secondary College students.

The clinics, run by Basketball Victoria and the NBL, involved learning new skills, talking to players about their experiences, and getting tonnes of autographs.

Victoria Country high performance coach Justin Schueller said it was a crucial first step for many young basketballers.

"For most kids, this is how they get their first love of the game, seeing the guys who are doing it at the highest end, then having the opportunity to try it," he said.

"The majority of our high performance kids right now with Vic Country would have started off this way, so it's been great to have Melbourne United in particular, our number one team in the state, to be able to come and interact with our Vic Country kids."

St Thomas' Shannon Nash agreed, noting it was a good way to get his students to try new things.

"It's a really good way of getting kids interested in something there's a lot of kids here that do other sports that I've never seen bounce a basketball, but they've had some fun today, and they've got a piece of equipment they can take home," he said.

"It's accessibility as well, we've got a great facility here we can use, we're learning in a different classroom today."

Grade five student Annie Perkins, holding a ball signed by all the players, said she was looking forward to playing more basketball at school.

"I learnt how to dribble the ball properly, and shoot while running up with the ball," she said excitedly.

"I had so much fun."

Melbourne United won the NBL Blitz on a countback of results from the Illawarra Hawks.

Gippsland Senior
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