Echuca Basketball Association honoured by Club/Team of the Year award

By Andrew Johnston

PHIL Candy didn’t truly appreciate the year the Echuca Basketball Association had in 2019 until he read the Sportstar nomination.

The association had 580 registered players, hosted the FIBA Mini Basketball Conference for Asia Pacific and the Basketball Victoria Country Jamboree, won a CBL men’s North West title, and were named the Basketball Country Victoria Medium Sized Association of the Year.

“We did a lot of great things,” he said.

“But they happen all throughout the year, so you don’t really realise just what the impact was until you sit down and really look over it.”

But the town noticed, with the Echuca Basketball Association named the Echuca Moama Sportstar Team/Club of the Year.

EBA president Candy said he was shocked the association received the award.

“It caps off a great year,” he said.

“Honestly we didn’t expect to win. There are so many great clubs throughout the, sport in this town is so successful because of the hard work these clubs do, so to be recognised is a great honour.

“For our association to win is indicative of the quality of people who have worked so hard to lead us to success. We have great people around us who will do whatever it takes to make it work.”

Basketball is reaching its most popular point in Australia since the 1990s, and participation numbers have never been so high within the town.

Candy said the association loved being able to provide the opportunity to as many people to play the game as possible.

“It means a lot,” he said.

“We hold our annual tournament where we have close to 1000 kids, you have people in the stadium almost every day playing the sport and loving the opportunity, it really is important.

“Having Basketball Victoria commit to holding the jamboree in our town for the next five years, it gives us even more opportunity to get people on the court and taking part in this great sport.”

The EBA has already started to put their name forward for 2020, with two players elected to the CBL North West women’s all-star five, and a near grand final appearance for the Lady Pirates to go with recent success at junior tournaments.

“We love seeing our players have success,” Candy said.

“We love that basketball is growing in the town and that we are seeing a lot of success coming through.”