Benalla’s Cody Marks is set to test his skills at a statewide basketball tournament this weekend.
Marks, 11, is one of country basketball’s next generation who earned a place at the Basketball Victoria Country Jamboree, to be held in Echuca from Saturday until Tuesday.
He will be one of 240 athletes, 18 referees, 24 coaches and 24 team staff who have been invited to attend the prestigious event.
At a recent BVC under-12 skills day — held at nine regional centres across Victoria — the top 240 ballers were picked from nearly 1000 participants to represent their associations and domestic clubs at the jamboree.
It will be an even split of male and female athletes, who will attend the event representing the Victoria Country Development team.
The event aims to develop athletes’ skillsets while ensuring an enjoyable basketball experience.
BVC participation co-ordinator Craig Hockley said it would be an incredible weekend of activity, at which the pool of talent continued to increase each year.
‘‘Each year it is evident that local associations are working at developing their athletes,’’ Hockley said.
‘‘It is a challenge for our coaches to select just 240 for the BVC Jamboree.
‘‘An important part of the BVC skills days is coach development and around 120 coaches were on the courts over the weekend.’’
Hockley said it was an important part of the process, which supports record participation numbers at local association level.
‘‘The start of the BVC elite junior pathway starts at the skills days,’’ Hockley said.
‘‘BVC have worked over the last few years to ensure that the opportunities to attend a jamboree event have been increased.’’
A Basketball Victoria Country spokesperson said the association wanted to congratulate all athletes who attended the skills days across regional Victoria and the local associations which provided access to high-calibre country basketball opportunities.
‘‘The jamboree concept first started in Europe and BVC is proud to be able to continue the development of this long-established regional victorian event,’’ the spokesperson said.