Friday nights are full of excitement for basketballers at Matthew Flinders Anglican College, with more than 150 keen students playing across 18 teams for the College in the 2022 basketball season.
Flinders has its sights set on being a top basketball school on the Sunshine Coast and has introduced new performance training squads as well as a top coaching team to support players aiming to compete at the highest level in the school competition.
Social basketball is also growing at Flinders for students wanting to build their fitness while having fun playing a high-energy game with their friends.
“We support two pathways for young basketballers at Flinders: professional and social,” said John Fitzgerald, the Flinders Teacher in Charge of Basketball and also Head of Science in the Secondary School.
“On a professional level, we want our players to exit the program understanding the game of basketball and the various tactical approaches to game play, the understanding of what training should look like if you want to succeed, and the leadership and communication skills that can carry into any profession,” John said.
“The other pathway is purely social, and is one of the great things about the game of basketball. It is a game that requires very little equipment, and can be played anywhere around the world,” he said.
“Being able to play in an organised competition on a Friday night through the Sunshine Coast Secondary Schools’ Basketball Association (SCSSBA) competition is often the highlight for many of our students who want to keep fit and have fun while playing a game with their friends.
“That is why there are nine senior teams this year in basketball at Flinders, because once a student plays and realises how much fun it is, they come back for more the next year, and then they are hooked!
“Our players are also fortunate to be backed by our supportive and enthusiastic Flinders staff who give up their Friday nights to supervise the social teams, helping to promote a healthy and social competition.”
New Training Squads and Upcoming Comps in the 2022 Flinders Basketball Program
The 2022 season has just kicked off for Flinders’ Junior and Intermediate teams, while Flinders’ Seniors Boys and Girls teams are nearing the end of their season.
Meanwhile, the Flinders Firsts Girls and Firsts Boys teams are gearing up to compete in the Championship Division of the Champion Basketball School of Queensland competition on the Gold Coast from 15 to 18 September.
Since Term 1, new weekly performance training squads have been offered to both boys and girls in Years 10 to 12 to extend the players in both game play and individual skills.
And also since Term 1, to encourage more involvement in basketball in the junior years and build players' skills and confidence, the College has been training boys and girls in Years 7, 8 and 9 across a range of abilities.
Player Achievements at Flinders
The College and basketball coaching team are pleased to support players who are striving to achieve at the pinnacle of the sport.
A number of Flinders students have exciting news to share about recent representation opportunities:
- Cooper Wilson in Year 9 recently secured a place in the Queensland School Boys Team for Under 15. He was the top scorer in his Phoenix representative team at the 2022 Queensland Titles. Cooper also recently represented the Sunshine Coast Regional U15 teams at the State Championships, achieving a bronze medal. Cooper earned his place in the Queensland Honorarium Team and has cemented himself as one of the best players on the Sunshine Coast for his age group.
- Tyler Ransome in Year 12 and Jack Woodward in Year 11 represented the Sunshine Coast at the Queensland State Basketball Championships in the Darling Downs in May this year. The Sunshine Coast team finished in second place. Tyler captained the side and was named as 'Player's Player' and Jack was selected as a reserve for the Queensland team.
- Year 9 student Claudia Barry was chosen to represent Queensland Schools U12 Girls Basketball Teams in 2020 and 2021. She has also played with the Flinders Firsts Girls since 2020 when she was in Year 7. Claudia trains as part of a national performance squad in Brisbane three times or more per week. She also recently represented the Sunshine Coast Regional U15 team at the State Championships, achieving a bronze medal.
- Oscar Nielsen was awarded Most Valued Player for the minor premiership intermediate team last year, and continues to work on his craft each day.
- Intermediate Girls team players, Summer Robertson, Kate Sparke, Abbi Taylor and Abigail Court-Williams are also exciting players who play representative basketball at Sunshine Coast Phoenix and are aiming to lead the girls team along with Claudia Barry for the next three years.
- In basketball umpiring, Year 10 student Jaylan Thomson this year secured his Advanced Referee Certificate and has his sights set on becoming a State Development Referee.
Highlights of 2021 Season
The Flinders basketball program achieved strong results in the 2021 SCSSBA competition with premierships won by the Flinders Girls Senior A, Boys Senior A, Boys Senior E, Girls Intermediate C and the Boys Intermediate F divisions.
Also in 2021, the Flinders Boys First team won the second division Champion Schools of Basketball Queensland (CBSQ) tournament on the Gold Coast in September, with the Girls Firsts placing an admirable fourth, also in the second division.
This year will prove more of a challenge when matching up against the powerhouse schools from all across the state in the Championship Division.
Read the news story about our top coaching team at Flinders for 2022.