WESTERN Region Academy of Sport have put the call out to any interested players to try their hand at joining next year's basketball trials, after nominations were recently extended.
With the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown in both Central and Far West regions the academy opted to push back the basketball trials for the 2022 back to October 3.
However, that new date could also be under threat following Thursday's announcement of a lockdown extension for the region.
Bathurst staff are also onboard once again in the coaching ranks, through Jess McGrath (assistant coach) and new addition Jade Pheils (apprentice coach), while Lithgow's Adam Marjoram heads the program.
McGrath is joined in the assistant coaching ranks by Claire Bynon (Dubbo), Scott Holmes (Mudgee) and Kieran Osborn (Mudgee).
McGrath said she's excited to be back with the program for another year.
"The coaches are a great group and I actually played with a couple of the women's coaches, which is nice," she said.
"I'm really looking forward to working with the apprentice coaches again. It's great having Adam back as head coach along with Kieran and Scott from last year.
"The apprentice coaches have the chance to learn at a higher level and bring it back to their local association and move forward with developing our kids."
Bathurst has had a great share of success from the program in recent times, with Roxy George being the 2021 coach's award winner and Phoebe Moller claiming the chairman's award for excellence.
It's hoped that many of the academy's graduates will go on to pursue the game at the senior level.
That's something that will hopefully become easier to do at the regional level in the near future thanks to the creation of the Western Region Women's League this year.
McGrath said the way that basketball is evolving in the region over the past few years is positive.
"I'm very happy with how the game is developing at the moment. I think we just have to work on getting the younger kids involved, which we started to do at Bathurst before COVID hit, which was really unfortunate," she said.
"With the senior women's comp coming together we were getting basketball back to how it used to be, and making sure that the kids in the bush aren't being left in the dark.
"That senior competition was going to be lots of fun and we had a lot planned for that. We want to give the talented juniors the chance to play with some of those older girls as well.
"It gives the kids something to aspire to, and let's them know that when you finish 18s there's something to play in, and it's not the end of your basketball career at a competitive level."
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