Basketball Ballarat is pleased to advise that once again Melbourne United will be meeting with the wider Basketball community by visiting schools and local businesses around Ballarat. Basketball Ballarat have also announced that Cairns Taipans, Deakin Melbourne Boomers and the Bendigo Bank Spirit will also be getting in on the action with the community across two weekends starting on Friday September 9.

Melbourne United kick of the community engagement when they head to Forest Street Primary School in Wendouree where they are set to take over the school for the morning. They are taking their trade mark “You Got Skooled” program to Forest Street and will be taking on the best basketballers from the school in a warm up match before Saturday night’s game at the MARS® MINERDOME.

Melbourne United will then head to the Ballarat Specialist School where they will have lunch with the students. This will be the third year in a row Melbourne United have had lunch at the Specialist School and they have said this is a real highlight of their trip to Ballarat.

Following lunch Melbourne United will have a closed training session at the MINERDOME which is their only opportunity to shoot on the game court before they face the Cairns Taipans because Junior basketball grand finals are being held on the Saturday.

Meanwhile Cairns Taipans will arrive in Ballarat around mid-day on Friday and will conduct a basketball clinic at Ballarat North Primary School in the afternoon. They will then head out to Wendouree McDonalds where there will be a meet and greet signing session with players as well as some give-a-ways.

The final activity on the Friday night is a fully funded coach’s clinic for all Basketball Coaches in Ballarat where the special guest will be Gordie McLeod, the Cairns Taipans Assistant Coach.

Saturday will see both Melbourne United and Cairns Taipans getting amongst our local junior teams with players scheduled to present trophies to Premiers and Runners Up at the conclusion of the morning games.

The final chance that fans will get to be up close and personal with the NBL stars will be at a signing session at the conclusion of the game on Saturday night.

However this will not be the last time fans will get a chance to see some of Australia’s greatest local talent, as Women’s National Basketball League teams, Melbourne Boomers and Bendigo Spirit come to Ballarat the following weekend.

The Deakin Melbourne Boomers will be arriving in Ballarat on Friday September 16 and their first stop will be at Yuille Park Community College where they will be doing a basketball session with some lucky students followed by lunch in the school café.

Basketball Ballarat staff and volunteers will then sit down with Boomers General Manager Justin Nelson and go over the Boomers marketing and membership plans and seek ideas on how Basketball Ballarat can better promote themselves and their Elite Teams, the Miners and Rush.

Bendigo Spirit will arrive in Ballarat on Saturday morning and key player Kelsey Griffin and 2016 Ballarat Rush Co-captain Kerryn Harrington will be taking some of our Junior Elite Players in a training session on the back courts of the MARS® MINERDOME whilst the Boomers hold a training session on Court 1.

Following the Boomers training session Spirit will take to the floor for their final training session before they clash later that night.

Both the Spirit and Boomers will be available after the game to meet with fans, conduct interviews and sign autographs.

Sunday will see Melbourne Boomers conducting Junior Elite training session before they have a final   training session in Ballarat.

Basketball Ballarat’s Melissa Thomas said “What a fantastic opportunity it is for Ballarat to host these two exhibition games and arrange for these top level athletes to once again get involved in our community”.

Basketball Ballarat CEO Peter Eddy said “United will be attending Ballarat for the third consecutive year however they are considering their options as the basketball facilities are beginning to show their age in comparison with new venues in other areas of the state”.

Thomas finished with “It’s great the Basketball Ballarat can attract these exhibition games. We have tremendous support from all four clubs and we are doing all we can to cement  the relationship we have with these clubs.

A full schedule of community engagement can be seen on the next page.

For more information on the exhibition matches please contact Elite Teams Administrator Melissa Thomas via 5330 7604 or [email protected]