One of the busiest weekends on Launceston's basketball calendar will make a welcomed return on Saturday, as the Launceston Classic once again gets underway.
The classic was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, but is back this year with hundreds of young ballers from across the state venturing to the Elphin Sports Centre, Silverdome and Deloraine Community Complex.
Basketball Tasmania administrative officer assistant Angus Kitson will be coaching, helping at the door and refereeing for the weekend.
"It's going to be crazy busy ... staff-wise we're all going to have to be refereeing games, we'll be doing bits and pieces everywhere," he said.
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT:
The weekend will see 124 teams from under-10s to under-18s play 258 games across 11 courts over three venues.
"It's going to be really fun - I've done it as a player since I was 14 playing with a club, or coming in with a state group," Kitson said.
"It's just a great week overall. It's a little bit more stressful as a staff member, but still a really fun experience.
"Launnie, being so centralised, is just great when we get everyone from around the state coming in a few times a year.
"You get to see everyone and it's a great opportunity for everyone to meet up and play against each other."
Kitson said the Elphin Sports Centre was still more than capable of keep up with the volume of playing on its courts.
"Especially courts three and four, I've played everywhere in the state and they're probably the two best overall - it's a really good facility," he said.
"The people who run it do a great job to run it with what they have."
Despite the COVID-caused break, Kitson said it was pleasing to see strong participation from across the state, as basketball continues to grow in Tasmania.
"The sport has gone through pretty much unscathed through COVID ... obviously the JackJumpers coming in helps," he said.
"There's just that goal for the kids now - they want to be a JackJumper so if there's any chance they get to come and showcase their talents to state coaches is a great thing."
There's just that goal for the kids now - they want to be a JackJumperAngus Kitson
Kitson expected all players to put their best foot forward, with no telling of who could be watching from the sidelines.
"There won't be many NBL1 coaches present, but it's a good opportunity to come in and see the other talent you're competing against," he said.
"And if you find you're not up to scratch, you know you have to go away and put in some more work.
"If you play well, you know you're in a good position potentially with the NBL1 because you're playing against the best in the state."