AFTER a memorable season of the hardwood, the Shoalhaven Tigers senior basketball program has announced its coaching staff for the 2019 Waratah League season.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
Scott Balsar, who helped the Tigers win their first ever youth league men’s banner this season, will again coach the Tigers under 22 men’s side, as they move into division one in 2019.
Balsar and his squad of 22, which includes Illawarra Hawks trainees Gavin Costain and Riley O’Shannessy, have been training for nearly six week already.
“It’s a bit hard to get everyone on the court at this time of year – especially with me being on the road too – but we have been getting up and down when we can,” Balsar said.
“We had plenty of interest in the team largely due to our success last season and the fact that we will be playing in division one next season.”
From last season’s team, only Brendan Sampson leaves the team, moving into the senior men’s team, while guard Josh Watts and Costain are added to the team – which could also contain a player from the United States, who Balsar is currently in negotiations with.
As such, Balsar has high hopes going into next season.
“There’s no doubt division one is going to be a big challenge, as our guys will be playing against guys who are potentially two or three years older than them,” he said.
“But I have confidence in our squad and there’s no reason why we can’t make it into the finals next year.
“Just look at this year, Newcastle went from winning the division two decider to playing finals in division one in 12 months – so there’s no reason why we can’t do it.”
To prepare the squad for the season, Balsar has organised a three-day camp in Batemans Bay in early February before pre-season fixtures against last year’s division one grand finalists Penrith, Illawarra (the side the Tigers defeated to win the banner) and potentially Bankstown and Sutherland.
“Those trial matches will be a good litmus test for us and let us know how we are actually shaping up,” Balsar said.
The men’s division men’s side will be coached by Ian Ozolins for the fourth straight year, but this year, he will be assisted by Kevin Campbell – who joins the black and gold from Moss Vale.
Finally, the division women’s side, who reached the finals weekend this season, will be coached by Glen Mustapic – who takes over from Ken Arthur.
In other Shoalhaven Basketball Association news, they held their 60th birthday celebrations at the Tigers Den on Sunday.
The afternoon event, hosted by Phil Lynch, saw close to 100 people, including most of their life members, celebrate the Tigers proud history.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.