Good luck to our Hills Hornets athletes and coaches heading to the 2022 Under 18 Australian Junior Championships.

Both Bailey Thom and Marko Rangan are competing in the Under 18 NSW Metro Men team and have big aspirations to bring home the gold medal for New South Wales. Reece Potter (Hills Hornets NBL1 Men Head Coach) and David Hayman (Hills Hornets U16 Boys Premier Head Coach) are both on coaching staff for this team, filling the roles of Head Coach and Assistant Coach respectively. Danielle D’Morias (Hills Hornets Youth Women & U14 Girls Head Coach) rounds out the Hornets’ representation at these Championships in her role as Assistant Coach for the Under 18 NSW Metro Women.

The Under 18 Australian Junior Championships is the pinnacle for emerging basketballers in Australia, competing for their state bodies to crown the National Champions. For both Thom and Rangan, this is an important moment in their basketball career. Covid-19 has seen opportunities to compete at a national level cancelled over the past two years, so there is a lot of nerves and excitement heading into the tournament. 

Having been a part of various Basketball NSW programs including SPP and D League, Marko Rangan has  worked hard to earn his way into his first NSW state team. Rangan has been a standout player within the Hornets program for many years, with his athleticism and game play continuing to develop. Marko further explained this before heading down to Ballarat, “It’s an honour to be chosen to represent my state and play with this group of boys, through years of hard work and being in the basketball New South Wales program, this has been my main goal to be chosen for the state team. It means a lot to me to have this opportunity to showcase myself on this big stage at nationals and help contribute to my teams success.”

Bailey Thom has been a part of the Hills Hornets representative program since 2016 when he made the Hornets Under 12 team as a 10-year-old. He was also a part of the Hills Hornets Under 14 Boys team, which won gold at the Under 14 National tournament in 2019. Thom has made the 2022 NSW state team as a bottom ager, meaning he will still qualify for selection again in 2023.  These Championships will see his debut representing NSW and he shared his thoughts a few days out. “My personal goal for the tournament is to go down and help impact winning for the team in any way possible. I would also love to get recognition for Australian camps and other higher-level opportunities down the path”.

The Under 18 Metro NSW team has already proven to have great chemistry, winning the annual City v Country clash, and is packed with individual talents. Thom said, “We have high hopes for this tournament and would love to come home with a gold medal for our state and make everyone proud”. It has always been a goal for Thom to represent NSW, having “always looked up to older players at Hills who were representing NSW”. Rangan futher explained the teams defensive focus, “Defensively also our team brings a lot to the table as we have lots of length and players who are willing to go up that extra notch and bring energy and hustle to the game”.

The Hills Basketball Association would like to wish our athletes and coaches the best of luck for the upcoming tournament. Keep your eyes on our socials as we share how the teams are progressing. 

The 2022 Under 18 Australian Junior Championships will be held in Ballarat, Victoria from Sunday 10th April to Sunday 17th April.

See the full event fixture here, as well as which games you can view on Kayo Freebies.