Basketball takes up new court as stadiums fill for tournament

BASKETBALL will move into Ballarat’s home of badminton, the Ken Kay Stadium, for the first time this weekend.

A newly marked court will be used in the City of Ballarat senior tournament, one of Victoria’s longest continuous running basketball events.

Ballarat Basketball administration and events manager Mark Valentine said having an additional court in the multi-purpose area of the Ken Kay Stadium was the first step in finding space to meet the ever-increasing demand for competition and training venues.

He said having the new court provided greater flexibility with scheduling the tournament.

The 46th edition of the Labor Day long weekend tournament will feature about 700 players in 70 teams from across the state – numbers which will have Minerdome and Wendouree Sports and Events Centre courts used to capacity over three days from tomorrow.

Valentine said women’s A grade was making a reappearance in the tournament.

He said Melbourne University was expected to be the one to beat in this competitions, as well as the men’s A grade.

Ballarat’s Big V Youth Championships’ Miners and Rush teams are among the hometown entries.

Valentine said their coaches wanted to get more court time into the players’ legs. 

It will mean a busy schedule for the youngsters.

Rush opens its Big V season against Diamond Valley Eagles at Frankston tomorrow, while the Miners face Diamond Valley in round one at the same venue on Sunday.

Social sections also make up a sizeable part of the tournament and it is traditionally difficult to predict winners.

Games begin tomorrow at 10am on Saturday, with grand finals at the Minerdome on Monday from noon.

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