SHOALHAVEN’S Scott Balsar has recently being appointed as the head coach of the NSW under 20 women’s basketball team.
Balsar has an extensive background in coaching NSW state teams having being at the helm of NSW Country Under 16 and 18 teams for over 15 years and boasts three National Championship gold medals along with four national bronze medals. Balsar’s last stint was four years ago, where he coached the NSW Country under 18 women to seventh.
His greatest state team coaching achievement was in 2005, where he won the under 18 national title with his NSW Country side in Perth, defeating a star studded South Australian Metro team on the buzzer to clinch the Maree Jackson Trophy, something a NSW Country team had never achieved and the first time in 34 years that a NSW team had won a national championship.
When he was asked about the memory of winning the National Championship Balsar said “It was just unbelievable I still get goosebumps talking about it today - we were underdogs with no big names at the time and we got an opportunity that we took and we came out winners.”
“I can still see the last play as clear as a bell - Tegan Burke on the spin move at the elbow and swish the shot went in right as the buzzer sounded and I guess the rest is history now.
“We had a great group of girls that bought into our system they played for each other and we took one day at a time, as we never focused on the gold medal game. We took the approach of if we are meant to be there come the end of the week then time will tell.”
Balsar’s focus now is to bring home one more title again something NSW has not done in sometime at the under 20s level and his team preparations are well under way having their first trials two weeks ago in Sutherland.
“We had 21 players at our first trials and we have increased to 25 players at our next trial being held again at Sutherland on November 12 and 13,” he said.
“We have a great mix of talent and size with many of the players being development or train on players on WNBL teams and most have played in the Molten Waratah BNSW Women’s league’s throughout this year along with the COE (Centre of Excellence) athletes, who play in the SEABL competition.
“I think we will have a pretty talented team that will have a good chance of playing for gold but we will take one day at a time and chip away at making everything we do right.”
“It’s a real honour to represent your state at any level of sport and I will put all my efforts and knowledge into bringing success to our team and Basketball NSW.”
The nationals are in Bendigo from February 12-18.