Basketballers flock to inaugural Pilbara tournament
A Pilbara-wide basketball bonanza was launched in Karratha at the weekend, drawing about 200 young sports stars to test their skills against their peers from across the region.
The inaugural Pilbara Classic featured the Pilbara’s first 3x3 basketball tournament, exhibition matches focused on visiting teams from Tom Price, Paraburdoo, Exmouth and Yandeyarra and courses for coaches, referees and officials over a busy two days of basketball.
In the 3x3 competition, the boys’ winners were Flames (under-18s), Karratha Cyclones (under-16s) and Exmouth B (under-14s), while in the girls’ division Karratha Cyclones (under-16s) and Yandeyarra (under-14s) were the victors.
The Pilbara Classic was organised by Basketball WA and the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.
Basketball WA Pilbara regional development officer Samantha Dell’Orso said the event’s debut was the first step of what she hoped would become a large-scale competition for the Pilbara in future.
“I think it’s a great start for the region in terms of how do we ramp up the basketball here and the presence and the participation,” she said.
“I definitely want to strive for bigger next year and I would love to get Port Hedland, Newman and Onslow involved so numbers can lift and we can get more participation, which means we can set up and do more things here in basketball as a whole.”
Dell’Orso said it was especially exciting that the event had included an inaugural 3x3 basketball competition, calling the popular new version of basketball “the next big thing for the region”.
“I wanted to utilise the 3x3 concept because that’s now going to be an official Olympic sport, and given our region does play a lot of streetball I think it was appealing to a lot of the towns,” she said.
“It’s really opening up a different style of the game, and that’s really exciting.”
Karratha Basketball Association president Cassie Perry said facing teams from other parts of the region could sharpen players’ skills.
“We play against ourselves all the time, especially our touring teams, and this competition meant we got to play other people,” she said.
“It’s what Perth gets to do all the time and I think it’s a huge benefit because basically our players will get better skills from it.”
The Pilbara Classic will return next year but could rotate to a different town within the region.
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