Baby Boomers bound for Sunshine Coast
  • Thursday 25 August 2016
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Our Aussie Boomers came within a whisker of a maiden Olympic basketball medal in Rio and the next generation of national stars will soon be on the Sunshine Coast.

The Australian Emus under-19 basketball team is set to fine tune preparations for next year’s FIBA World Championships at the University of the Sunshine Coast from September 8-12.

USC Sport manager Nathan Gordon said he was confident the Sports Centre would be an ideal facility for the Emus’ high performance camp.

“We’re excited about hosting this team in our high-standard facilities at USC and we hope that having the court training, strength and conditioning programs and recovery activities all in one location will benefit the Emus’ preparation for the upcoming Oceania Championships,” he said.

USC Rip City Basketball treasurer Mark Brown said the club would play host to the Emus during their five-day visit, that would provide some exciting opportunities for the Sunshine Coast community.

“As we’ve just seen in Rio, Australia has some of the best basketballers in the world and we came within one basket of a bronze medal. The players who’ll be coming here in the Emus squad are our future stars of game and many of them are likely to be wearing green and gold at the next Olympics,” Mr Brown said. 

“The Emus will play a match against new NBL franchise the Brisbane Bullets on Saturday, September 10 at 1pm and before that match we’ll have coaching clinics involving Emus and Bullets players with youngsters from our local Aussie Hoops programs.  

“As hosts of the game on Saturday September 10, USC Rip City Basketball is looking forward to putting on a first class event for the Sunshine Coast community. It’ll be a fantastic opportunity to see some of Australia’s emerging stars and the exciting new-look Bullets roster.

“Tickets are available online at www.uscbasketball.com.au and with only about 600 seats available we are encouraging fans to make sure they get in early so they don’t miss out.”

Basketball Australia U19 Emus head coach Adam Caporn said the Sunshine Coast was an ideal location for the Emus to launch their World Championship campaign.

“This camp will be important preparation for our U18 FIBA Oceania Championship matches in Fiji in December and qualification for next year’s FIBA U19 World Championships in Cairo.” he said.

“The Sunshine Coast has a successful track record in hosting elite sporting teams from other sporting codes such as AFL and rugby.

“With the elite basketball and sports science facilities at USC we’re very confident we’ll be able to put in the hard work on the court, continue to build our team chemistry and have a great hit-out against the Brisbane Bullets.”

Best Western Plus Oceanside Kawana general manager John Orning said hosting the Emus would provide another welcome business boost.

“We had terrific bump in accommodation bookings from the World Outrigger Championships earlier this year,” he said.

“We only opened our doors in November 2015 so having major events and sporting teams come to our region gives us a chance to welcome guests from other parts of Australia and overseas and is great for getting our business recognised on the Sunshine Coast as well as nationally and internationally.” 

Tourism Sport and Major Events Portfolio Councillor Jason O’Pray said the Emus’ visit was another significant vote of confidence in the Sunshine Coast as the major events regional capital of Australia.

“The Sunshine Coast has a proven record as a successful and very highly regarded destination for elite professional sporting sides to base themselves in preparation for upcoming competitions,” he said. 

“We had seven AFL clubs here for pre-season training camps last summer and the Wallabies rugby union side has also based itself at the Sunshine Coast Stadium for training camps in 2015 and 2016. 

“We’re also going to have hundreds of athletes from the Wales and Isle of Man Commonwealth Games teams coming here in the weeks leading into the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

“In addition, we’re also playing host to 60 major sporting, music and lifestyle events this year, estimated to bring more than 120,000 guests from all over the world.”

Details of Emus high performance training camp will be available closer to their arrival on September 8. 

Photo Credit: FIBA