Basketballers rally to help community

ORGANISERS of Colac’s all-star basketball match say the standard of next week’s showcase will be better than the inaugural event.

The cream of Colac Basketball Association’s men’s A Grade competition will take to the Bluewater Fitness Centre court for the annual match on January 25.

Colac basketballers, from left, Matt Williamson, Matt O’Dowd, Justin Williamson, Matt Lucas and Mick Ritchie are preparing for the Colac Basketball Association all-star match.

The inaugural event last year finished with teenager Nathan Lemke conjuring a buzzer-beating slam dunk to send the 140-strong crowd home on a high.

Organiser Pete Williamson said fans could expect more highlights from this year’s match, which will again use the East-versus-West format popular in the United States.

Colac Kookas centre Lemke and guard Marcus Larcombe headline the line-ups, which also include the consistent Russell Whiteford and veterans Justin Williamson and Matt Lucas.

“There are a couple of players that have improved a fair bit in the normal Colac season this year,” Williamson said.

“And we’ve also got Marcus Larcombe from Geelong that’s going to play. He’ll add a bit of polish to the game.”

The 2011 all-star match raised $2700 for Queensland flood victims, but the proceeds of the 2012 match will go to Cororooke’s Delorenzo family and Geelong’s Reddie family.

Nathan Delorenzo is undergoing rehabilitation after suffering a stroke in May.

Daniel Reddie, the late boyfriend of Colac’s Lara Lynch, died while travelling in Croatia in August.

His family has created the Daniel Reddie Foundation to raise money for research into, and support for, sufferers of endocarditis, a heart condition.

Williamson said he and co-organiser Ben Martin hoped the Colac community would back the event given the proceeds were going to families with strong Colac ties.

“Last year myself and Benny were talking before we did it about holding an all-star event,” he said.

“It wasn’t to do with fundraising, it was to get some awareness out there about basketball.

“It happened at the same time as the Queensland floods so we decided we would do a raffle and raise money from it.

“This year we wanted to put more of a focus on raising funds and helping people in Colac.”

A three-point shootout at 6.15pm will be a curtain raiser for the main event, which tips off at 7pm.

A half-time match featuring Colac’s representative junior basketballers will also entertain the crowd.

Williamson said the event could become a permanent feature on Australia Day eve.

“The night before Australia Day seems to suit with people having the next day off,” he said.

Comments are closed.