More than a decade ago, Junee was a town tied to the court, with an impressive basketball participation rate and a women’s side named state champions.
Steven Gentle played A grade for Junee and at state level for Wagga.
“Junee used to have the highest membership rate pro rata in all of NSW,” Mr Gentle said.
His father John Gentle was president of the Junee Basketball Association for 35 years.
Now, he’s taken up the charge to reinvigorate the sport as the new president of the reborn Junee Basketball Association.
The association are taking nominations for the first senior and under 18s competition in decades, beginning on October 8.
The push for basketball has come following great enthusiasm for the kids’ Aussie Hoops program.
“We’ve got 50 kids and more coming every week,” Mr Gentle said.
“Interest is way up there. We’ve had sides from Wagga get in touch about coming over to play.”
Aussie Hoops runs every Tuesday at 5.30 and has just two weeks left to go.
In its hey-day Kerri Walker, new vice-president of the association, was on the Junee basketball executive for more than a decade.
She’s been buoyed by the success of the kids’ training program.
“It’s great to see the courts at the JRec centre now getting some use,” she said.
Mrs Walker has played since primary school and though she dabbles in netball, basketball has her heart. Those travelling to Wagga will now have the opportunity to wear their own colours on court.
“I think it’s going to be quite big, the men’s competition will be well supported and we’ve just got to see what we get in numbers for the women’s,” she said.
Training for the juniors will be held on Tuesdays with senior games looking to be held on Sundays.
Nominations for the first season for under 18s and senior men’s and women’s competition close on September 24. Forms are available from the Junee Recreation Centre.
Anyone interested in coaching, helping take score or refereeing future games is encouraged to get in touch.