Launceston's City Gibson under-10s team competing at the state basketball championships this weekend don't need to look far for either encouragement or inspiration.
As the clue in the name suggests, the team is coached by Mandy Gibson nearly a quarter of a century after she helped a Tornadoes team based in the same building claim a national title.
In the same week that former teammate Sarah Veale took charge of their old team, Gibson was relishing her own coaching responsibilities as Elphin Sports Centre plays host to the Tasmanian under-10 and 11 championships.
"I still love it 30-odd years later," she said.
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"It gives you itchy feet sometimes but it's a lovely thing to think you are having an impact on future players and generating their love for the game.
"I always think it's fantastic for kids to play multiple games in one day because they learn so much more than when there is a week between games when they can forget things.
"They just love playing. They play against teams they've never played against before, get to see different styles and learn so much.
"I think the coaching kids get now is better than when I played because we've learned so much more about the game.
"They've got more opportunities much earlier than we did that gives them the chance to get better earlier. But there's still the same camaraderie and the friendships and memories last forever. I still run into people I used to play against, that never goes away."
After the under-12 titles were held in Devonport from August 31, the under-14, 16 and 18s have all since been staged in Launceston.
"Basketball Tasmania do this because Launceston is central and there are four courts here," Gibson said.
"There are also four at Kingborough but that's a long trip from the North-West and there's no other place with four courts.
"In terms of travel the most you need to get here is three hours but if they were held in Hobart, a place like Smithton would be a massive drive so BTas are trying to be fair to everyone."
The 46-year-old mother-of-three, whose daughter Cassidy, 8, is in her team ("she's a very different player to her mum - she's certainly a lot quicker"), said basketball is difficult to get out of the blood.
"My two sons are playing in the three-on-three at the Silverdome at the moment, we're all going to the NBL Blitz tonight and then tomorrow I'm at the country cup trials in Deloraine so once you've got it you can't get basketball out of your system."
The tournament concludes on Sunday with the last grand finals at 2.55pm.
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