South Australia will host the 2013 U16s for seven days of competition featuring 28 teams – 26 boys and girls teams from Australia and two from New Zealand – battling it out for the title.
For the first time, the ‘Trish Fallon Fair Play Award’ will be introduced at this year’s Championships, to be presented to the team that displays outstanding sportsmanship.
Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer Kristina Keneally - who is in Wayville attending this afternoon's games - said the tournament would bring together basketball’s rising stars, giving junior players the opportunity to test themselves against the best competition from around the country in their age group.
“Almost all of the members of both of those senior national teams once played in the Australian Junior Championships, so it’s safe to say everyone who plays this week will be following in some very big footsteps,” Ms Keneally said.
“Basketball Australia is delighted that from this year, triple Olympian and Australian basketball legend Trish Fallon has agreed to lend her name to the Fair Play Award for these championships.
“Trish was a cornerstone of the Opals in one of their most successful eras, leading the team with quiet strength and a fierce competitiveness.
“Importantly, Trish is an outstanding role model for our aspiring juniors, excelling on the court but also off the court in the way that she has always conducted herself with professionalism and humility.”
Australian Opal star and home-grown Barossa Valley talent Tess Madgen cut her teeth on local basketball before shooting up the ladder to the national level.
“The Australian Junior Championships are such a great opportunity to develop your game and compare where you’re at against people from other states – that’s what motivates you to work harder and get better,” Madgen said.
“It’s also such a valuable experience as it puts you in the spotlight with the Australian coaches at a young age.”
The opening ceremony for the 2013 Australian Under 16 Championships will take place at 6:45pm today, while the closing ceremony will take place on Saturday 13 July at 8:30pm.