Ballarat is fast becoming one of Australia's sporting hotbeds as a huge announcement is set to bring another major sporting event to the region.
The city is set to host its first ever in-season Women's National Basketball League game as the Ballarat Sports and Events Centre will feature a high profile clash between the Bendigo Spirit and the reigning WNBL premiers Canberra Capitals.
This comes only days removed from the announcement the city will also host the 2020 U/18 Australian Championships for Men and Women together with the Kevin Coombs Cup for Wheelchair Athletes.
In a press release Basketball Ballarat CEO said he is excited at the prospect of bringing elite women's basketball to Ballarat.
"Both Basketball Ballarat and the City of Ballarat, are passionate about Women In Sport, and are proud to support the 'Active Women's and Girls Program' through this WNBL blockbuster game, against last year's National Champions UC Capitals," Eddy said.
The Spirit will feature a few familiar faces when they head to Ballarat, with former Rush players Abigail Wehrung and Kasey Burton signed the Bendigo side.
Wehrung re-joined the Spirit for her second consecutive campaign after starting all 21 games last season.
She averaged 10.33 points, 2.57 rebounds, 2.38 assists and 31 minutes a game.
The former Australian junior produced a WNBL career best 30 points against her former team and eventual champions University of Canberra Capitals in the Spirit's final game of the season.
Speaking at the announcement in Ballarat, Wehrung said she was extremely excited at the prospects of returning to Ballarat.
"Obviously we're really excited to bring a WNBL game to Ballarat in the new stadium," she said.
"It's extremely exciting for me given that I played my juniors here... it's really a second home for me."
The 23-year-old said the 6 December game will be a special one for her as it represents a crossing of all her basketball pathways.
"It's kind of a crossing of my pathways... playing juniors here and then heading up to Canberra and spending four years there before playing with Bendigo, it's really special."
Wehrung believes bringing more WNBL and NBL games to Ballarat would go a long way in promoting growth in the sport.
"The Bendigo Spirit and Geelong Cats are the only regional professional sporting teams in Victoria so it's huge to bring a game here.
"For little girls and little boys be able to look up to us and see that they can go through the Ballarat pathways and make it if that's what they want to do.
"(Hosting an NBL game) would be amazing and I definitely think it's something that's achievable with this new facility and the way Basketball Victoria is viewing Basketball Ballarat."
Burton on the other hand joined the club as a developmental player for the 2019/20 WNBL season.
Wehrung said having young athletes be able to see people who were in their shoes competing at the highest level is huge for development and motivation.
The Ballarat-born guard just finished a season with the Melbourne Tigers in the NBL1 competition, where she averaged 9.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game as a starter.
"It really just shows that the Ballarat pathways can lead to success and it's all there for the kids if they're willing to take it."
The event just adds to the number professional in-season major sporting events the city has hosted including football, soccer, cricket and rugby.
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