Kilsyth Basketball has been named Basketball Victoria’s Junior Program of the Year for 2023.


The prestigious award was announced at Wednesday night’s annual Basketball Victoria Awards, with the Junior Cobras program – led by Manager of Basketball Operations, Mark Watkins – and Junior Domestic and grassroots programs recognised for their remarkable performance over the course of 2023. 


In 2023 the Cobras junior representative program stood tall above the rest, with the Cobras qualifying 11 teams for the VJBL’s Victorian Championship (VC) division, tied for most in the state. Of those 11 teams, seven Cobra teams advanced to VC Final Fours, placing them amongst the top four teams in the state for their respective age groups; also the top mark in the state. Highlighting the Cobras successes were the U14-1 Girls and U20 Boys, who were each crowned state champions, while the U16-1 Girls finished as state runners-up. 


In addition to standout performances throughout the VJBL season from our 36 junior teams, the Cobras shone bright at tournament time, too; the U12-1 Girls finished as National Junior Classic (NJC) runners-up, and the U14-1 Girls added to their VC title with a NJC championship, before going on to finish as silver medalists at the U14 National Club Championships. The Cobras success was also strong on an individual basis, too, with four players selected to represent Victoria at U16 and U18 National Championships; big numbers participating in Basketball Victoria State and Future Development Programs (SDP/FDP); while a number of Cobra coaches saw themselves earn opportunities within the Basketball Victoria High Performance Pathway. 


The success of the Junior Cobras has continued its rapid trajectory into 2024, with the Cobras boasting a state-best 12 teams in VC competitions for the current VJBL season, while the strength of the Cobras pathway and representation at the elite senior basketball has been equally impressive; a combined 38 former and current Junior Cobra athletes are representing Kilsyth at the VYC and NBL1 level in 2024. Much of the Cobras team, athlete and coach success, and synergy between the Junior and Senior programs is attributed to the Cobras Style of Play, which has provided a consistency in play, coaching, terminology and culture from our U10 Development Programs all the way to up to the elite NBL1 level. 



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Of course, Kilsyth Basketball’s success at the representative level is not possible without the quality and depth of it’s Junior Domestic competitions and grassroots programs, which continue to function as the largest and most vital pieces in the Kilsyth Basketball pathway. With over 700 Junior Domestic and After School teams competing in our competitions on a weekly basis, our Junior Competitions continue to grow in size, skill and depth; guided and nurtured by hundreds of selfless volunteer coaches and administrators across our local primary schools and fourteen Junior Domestic clubs. 


At a grassroots level, Kilsyth Basketball’s school clinic program reaches large numbers of primary school students within the Kilsyth and Mountain District region, while our school holiday camps and Mini Cobras programs continue to see record numbers through the doors. The strong community outreach and grassroots program offerings play an important role in growing our Junior Domestic and After School participation numbers, with many of our current Senior Cobra stars beginning their basketball journeys at Kilsyth Basketball camps, school clinics, or development programs many years ago. 

With our Junior Cobra athletes and many of our Junior Cobra coaches honing their craft within our Junior Domestic Competitions on weekdays and weekends – coupled with incredible Junior Domestic representation at the elite senior end – Kilsyth continues to set the standard both state and nation wide from a Junior Program perspective.


We’d like to thank our Junior Domestic Clubs and competing Primary Schools; and the large pool of volunteers serving in a variety of key roles; our Junior Cobra Coaches and administrators, and our Junior Cobra naming rights partner – Guzman y Gomez – for playing a key role in making our Junior Program officially the best in Victoria.