How much of Australia's junior problems is due to the emphasis on athleticism and running plays like robots, rather than building all-round skills and the ability to read the game and react accordingly? Or due to preparing them for the dream of the NBA rather than 'just’ international ball?
Earlier comments referred to Euro kids spending more time together and playing a lot more games, being promoted to the tough (adult) leagues early, and having a better ability to read the game. Sadly, that’s not likely to happen in Australia - we just don’t suit that type of setup. Similarly, we don’t suit the US pathway of strong grass-roots all the way through college to the NBA.
The only time I can remember the CoE producing a competitive junior team was the one with Lauren, Penny, etc, who were once-in-a-generation talents. And who could forget when our junior men won the u23 world championship in 1997 with Anstey, McKinnon, etc?
I don’t have any answers. But I do have to wonder what the CoE priorities are and what the various reviews focus on. How much influence do basketball people actually have these days, anyway, when so much of sport is run by professional administrators, accountants focussing on the $, agents pushing the agendas of one player against the others, political influence, etc?
We need to come up with our own model which suits Australia. Success shouldn’t just be measured by our presence in the NBA draft, or grass-roots numbers playing, or the number of teams in the NBL, but by a combination of many factors.