AFTER years of thought and a great deal of effort, the Scone Basketball Association (SBA) have finally been able to field an under 18s representative squad.
A group of eight talented young athletes are now available to play in the EJL Waratah League for the Scone Stallions, which will see them face off against sides such as Newcastle Hunter, Maitland Mustangs, Gosford City Rebels Red and Black, Newcastle Academy, Central Coast Waves and the Cessnock Warriors.
They recently completed two practice matches against the Tamworth Thunderbolts U18 division 2 side, coming away with one win and one loss, and gaining valuable experience in the process.
Getting the young side together has been a long project, with team coordinator Trish Mullen revealing she begun considering the concept a couple of years ago, as she had to drive her son Clancy to and from Tamworth two or three times a week so he could play rep basketball.
When asked how much effort was put into actually forming the team and getting all paperwork completed, she had a swift response.
"A heck of a lot, most people said to me' good luck with that', personally if I had known at the start how hard it was going to be I probably wouldn't have bothered, but the commitment and love of the game from the players was worth it in the end," she said.
"They don't normally let an association only register an U18 team as their first rep side, they like it to be started in the lower age groups so they have teams coming through.
"But after looking at the growing membership numbers and updated facilities, they could see SBA was heading in the right direction as a growing club."
The future also looks bright as just two of the eight registered players for the 2020 season will be too old to take part next year.
Several other juniors from surrounding basketball associations have reportedly also shown interest in trying out once a new registration process begins.
Their first match had been scheduled for March 15 at Niagara Park in Gosford, but the competition is currently suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
A game against Gosford City Rebels Black is currently fixtured for April 26, and a decision as to whether it will be playable or not is yet to be made.
Mullen also wanted to thank their major sponsors Mirunners and Willow Park Stud.