Bid to boost indigenous numbers

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

Albany Basketball Association men’s A-grade team Kinjarling Thunder are aiming to drive indigenous participation in basketball throughout Albany as the new side enters the competition for the 2017-18 season.

Four new teams will feature in the men’s top-tier competition, which starts tonight, after the bottom two sides Wolves and Dugites departed.

With Albany Senior High School and North Albany Senior High School running the Kinjarling Cup once a term for the past four years, Thunder coach Tom Dimer said the idea to put a team together arose from the success of that tournament. “So out of that event we’ve looked at putting teams into the local competition and the kids have all jumped on board which is awesome,” he said. “The support we’re getting from the community is really positive and everyone involved is really excited.”

Dimer highlighted the important role the new team will play.

“The main aim is to build up indigenous participation numbers in the Albany Basketball Association and make it an ongoing thing,” he said. “Hopefully in years to come we’ll eventually develop a real club for not just indigenous kids but for all the kids out there in the community to jump on board and be a part of it.”

Kinjarling is the traditional Noongar name for Albany meaning “place of rain” and Dimer said education was another key element to the Thunder.

“I thought it was very fitting to continue the language; people see that and they ask questions, so it’s a part of educating people about traditional language and what we have here in Albany,” he said.

The Thunder side includes several young players including Nicholas Penny and Jordan Pinner while journey man Stuart Myers will provide much-needed experience.

Knights are another new team and feature a host of talented juniors including State Country players Matt Leary, Keanu Weeden and Henry and Henrick Alforque.

Denmark-Albany Spartans have athletic tall Sam Baddeley Holmes, Jack Hickey and Sam Finigan while Pelicans are the other new side and have brought in a similar line-up to Dugites, without Todd Knuiman and Adam DitchburnBarking Owls will replace Joel Bellinger-Brown and Tom Powell with Brody Hickey and Red Rogers.

Ambassadors lose Matt Barber and Simon Clarendon while Knuiman will come across from Dugites. Tigers will be without guards Corey Hitchcock and Jordan Genovese, however, Joe Santia is expected to boost their stocks. Crabs have added Cyril Norment, Shane Braimbridge and Zac Pearson to replac eWade Eskett, Ain Pennaste and Bodhi Holmes.

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