Tasmania’s top junior basketballers will have their nerves tested in an Elite 8 knockout tournament in Launceston this weekend.
A mix of state development teams and top-ranked association teams from each region will do battle for bragging rights across age groups from under-12s to under-18s, with matches to be played at Elphin Sports Centre and St Patrick’s College.
Basketball Tasmania events manager Scott Boucher said the tournament structure was similar to that of the NBA finals.
“It’s the first time we’ve run a tournament like this,” Boucher said.
“Normally we play pools but it’s going to be a bracket system, so they have to keep winning to get through to the final.”
Boucher said Northern sides would hold their own against Southern and North-West counterparts despite being the smallest region by playing population.
“They’re expected to be among the stronger teams in the competition.
“They’re expected to be very strong in the under-12 and under-14 boys, but they’ll be fielding teams in every age group.”
The tournament will see 500 players and 50 teams in competition and will get under way at 8.40am on both Saturday and Sunday.
Grand finals will begin at noon on Sunday, with coaches’ votes to determine ‘all-star fives’ from every age group.
The weekend roster is available at the Basketball Tasmania website.