My 2cents worth. Having served on the committee of an association - the VJBL Friday night competition is definitely a significant financial revenue stream that Associations rely on.
To think otherwise would be naive. The Associations run BB all year round, effectively, including Friday night rep because it generates revenue and if they weren't using the council or school owned facilities, then other user groups would step in. i.e Netball, Futsal, Badminton, etc.
The Associations are a Business and should be run like one.
Too many people forget the good that Rep Basketball provides. As others have said it keeps kids involved in sport, which is excellent for an ever increasing obesity problem, it occupies their Friday night, they are probably too tired to go out Saturday night as they know they have training on Sunday, etc, etc. I could go on.
Having said that - back to topic.
No - Outside VC Championship (and not VC Reserve) the VJBL Friday night Rep is not elite. Their may be the odd elite player in VC Reserve or Metro 1, but, in general, the competition at these levels or below is not elite, nor are the athletes elite.
I have boys that have played at the VC level, throughout their whole junior basketball playing days.
The VC Champ level is elite, at least the top 5 or 6 teams, but not every player in these teams is elite.
However, let's be honest about it being elite - how many kids running around on any given Friday night are going to play BIG V Championship Men, let alone SEABL, NBL or beyond? Not many!
There are, on average, 10-15 Aussie Males that US Div 1 Colleges consider to be elite enough to offer them a scholarship. Then how many of those Div 1 College Basketballers actually make a living out of playing basketball?
So let's not lose focus here. Please see it for what it is. The great thing about the VJBL is that kids are participating in a team sport.
As they say, Basketball - everyone's game.