Wagga Basketball’s inaugural talent program to become regular feature

YOUTH FOCUS: Wagga Heat coach Colin Reed is confident the inaugural Riverina State League Talent Program, which aims to further develop the region's young players, will become an annual feature. Picture: Kieren L Tilly
YOUTH FOCUS: Wagga Heat coach Colin Reed is confident the inaugural Riverina State League Talent Program, which aims to further develop the region's young players, will become an annual feature. Picture: Kieren L Tilly

Wagga Heat coach Colin Reed has declared the inaugural Riverina State League Talent Program a success.

Reed established the program to bridge the gap between junior competitions and the state league, while providing six weeks of high-level training during an otherwise quiet part of the basketball calendar.

The program, which wrapped up late last month, also funneled some of the best young players from around the region into the Wagga Heat trials which followed last Tuesday.

Reed confirmed that some of the players from the program had made the Heat’s squad of 17, which he is currently in the process of whittling down to 12.

“The association is looking to keep it going in future years,” Reed said.

“It certainly should be an ongoing thing because it’s definitely beneficial for the future of Wagga basketball.”

The program was treated as an intensive preseason regime, featuring a lot of one-on-one and full-court transition drills.

Reed said Wagga Basketball’s focus on junior development was already paying off, with Heat youngster Bailey Lloyd being offered a spot with the Albury-Wodonga Bandits.

It would be a noticeable step up for the teenager, with the Bandits competing in the semi-professional South East Australian Basketball League.