Our own Swinburne Kilsyth Cobras coach Grant Wallace, has led the under 20’s Victorian Mens team to victory at the recent 2013 Under 20 Australian Junior Championship. The Championship, which concluded on Saturday 23 February after a weeklong tournament in Launceston, Tasmania, saw both the Victorian mens and womens teams win gold for the third consecutive year (remaining undefeated for the entire Championship). In a clean sweep for Victoria, the men’s and women’s Ivor Burge Vic Metro teams (for players with an intellectual disability) also won gold medals in the National Ivor Burge competition (which was held concurrently with the U20 Championship).


Grant Wallace reflects on the week below:


“What an exceptional week, to remain undefeated all week and to remain focused on winning the National Championship – I am exceptionally proud of the players and my support staff.  All members completed their role on and off the court without question or hesitation and deserve the credit and accolades.  The group’s single minded focus on being National Champions enabled each to do everything possible to win their first gold medal as a group, having missed out in their 16’s and 18’s age groups previously.


I must thank Ian Stacker from the AIS for his valued support in releasing Dane Pineau, Dante Exum and Felix von Hofe from their commitments in support of Victoria at the Australian Junior Championship.  Also a special thank you to Chris Anstey (Melbourne Tigers), Peter Godfrey (Kilsyth), Alan McAughtry (Frankston/Diamond Valley), Rod Popp (Kilsyth), Nick Grylewicz (Ballarat), Scott Christiansen (Knox), Niall Quinn and Warren Brown (VJBL), Sandra Sloane, Ross Wignell and Wayne Bird (BV) for their loyal support in the preparation period prior to the Championships.


The hard fought 67-63 victory in the gold medal game against an experienced and highly rated New South Wales outfit was a fitting result to the week.  Finals at any level are never easy at the best of times, and being down 13 at the half of a National Championship may have been a little concerning for some but not this group.  The confidence, experience and depth of our group provided from their development in their weekly VJBL contests and the quality domestic coaching provided for Victorian players provided a wonderful base for a disciplined 40 minute team performance from all ten Victorian players.


The Victorian Basketball community should be exceptionally proud of the way they were represented this past week by all four Victorian teams at the Under 20 and Ivor Burge Championships.”