Members of the youth Miners playing in the NBL1 as developmental players are reaping the benefits of senior competition and are quickly becoming mainstays in the side.
Youth player Amos Brooks is one of a handful of Big V players to suit up for the Miners in the opening rounds of the squad's undefeated season. Having seen game time in all but one contest, the big bodied forward said the opportunity to gain top level experience has been invaluable.
"Its been awesome," he said.
"Its a great opportunity to be seen at that next level, experiencing what it takes and what its like to be up there."
Brooks has played limited minutes so far in each of his two appearances. He said the pace and physicality of the competition has proved to be the biggest adjustment at the top level of Victorian basketball.
"The structure is a lot more flowing and the players have that next level thinking and are able to read the game differently," he said.
"I'm a bigger dude and I spend a lot of my time hitting bodies and playing against men as opposed to kids."
Ballarat Miners NBL1 coach Brendan Joyce said exposing young players to senior competition is something he's done everywhere he's coached. He believes its the best way to expedite their development while providing an insight into what areas they need to grow as players.
"I'm not a believer in players "waiting their turn" he said.
"I always say if there is a young guy willing to work hard enough they're going to be banging on senior players doors to take their spot."
Coach Joyce said the philosophy behind providing these opportunities is to create a healthy competition among players so they stay motivated to keep at the top of their game. Although their minutes at the top level can vary, he said they can take their experience back to their own age group where they can "dominate."
"We have an expectation that if they play up a level they provide good value for our youth league," he said.
"We cant get carried away with our results but what it does is build depth and competition within the squad which is going to hold us in good stead later in the year."
Ballarat Miners Youth League One coach Daniel Knaggs has noticed the impact the exposure has had on his players saying they hold themselves "more accountable."
He said they have a better idea of where they need to improve as players.
"With them stepping up they've got to be a lot more humble and the imports in the senior team have been keeping them in check which helps them become better people and players," he said.