The most effective player on the court is not always amongst your starting five!
Darcy Locke is proof of this in season 2021 for the NE Bushrangers. Having commenced with Bushies in 2014, he has see-sawed between the Big V and SEABL over the past 5 years in differing roles. Having sustained a significant shoulder injury in 2016, Locke’s playing career was disrupted, but he returned this season to add depth, strength and experience to the new Bushies’ lineup under Head Coach, Hayden Annett.
Darcy Locke (BV League photographer)
Finding ‘his place’ in that lineup took a few weeks but he is now quite often the spark that can ignite the fire in the Bushies’ belly! Coming into the program just before the season kicked off presented some small obstacles, and Locke reflects that it was a challenge, “There were guys I had never played with before and there were some pretty well-established relationships formed from having played with each other in their respective associations.” But he has now found his niche as an essential team member.
Don’t expect that you’re always going to see him in the starting line-up! Locke regularly starts on the bench as one of the first subs into the game, of course that is dependent on the opposition, and the game plan under the direction from Coach Annett. But it is from this position that Locke appears to be most effective!
He has a mature and experienced mindset going into games, and he shares that his “thought process is always around completing the 1% things like finding a body and being physical on the court. It is also important to me that I aid in creating opportunities for my teammates to get rebounds, assists and points. By doing this, I rarely find myself overwhelmed by the many things that sometimes I have no control over in a game, like how many points I will score etc.”
With a clear team goal in sight to make a maiden finals berth (which has now been disrupted due to a 6th Covid lockdown), Locke feels the team has settled into a consistent overall performance and efficiency that comes with familiarity and hard work.
Locke’s overall intensity and accuracy in offense is paramount to the team’s success, and while across the season, he’s averaging just 20 minutes of court time each week, his shooting percentage is an impressive 52.46% for his 10.92 points per game. But when looking at his more recent contributions, he has pocketed an average of 15.5 points per game over the last six rounds. When asked how he maintains his consistency, Locke stated, “My shooting percentage has only been so good because of the types of shots I’m taking. By doing the work in the background on the floor like getting up and down the court and hitting my spots, I’m finding myself open. Sometimes it’s important to take a leap and put some of the responsibility on your own back but when you’ve got some guys that have a role on the team as scorers, it’s balancing it out and stepping up where required.”
His tip for those budding bench warmers down the track, is to take a step back, reflect on what they do well and then slot that into the team’s plan. He’s well-grounded and reflected that, “Everyone would love to be the guy that scores 30+ a night but the reality is that there is maybe one guy that can do that in a team and the guys putting in the work around him, they are the ones getting him those points.”
But for Locke, who has been a consistent lead scorer across many of our games this season, playing his role has garnered the benefits for him as an individual as well as the team as they make a late surge for finals (Covid permitting). He added, “The best players, no matter their role, back themselves 100% to do what they need to do.”
As the 2021 season draws to its end, it’s also a time for the Club to be considering the recruitment process for 2022. Locke’s success outlines the need for depth and skill diversity within a team, and players should not be deterred from trying out for that higher level competition just because they won’t necessarily be in the starting line-up!
Published in Wang Chronicle and online Benalla Ensign (subscribers only):
Making the leap from Junior Rep basketball to Senior Rep is not as simple as just “turning up”! There are many factors to consider which include the commitment from the player (as well as their family) and the expectation of the coach to fulfil a role.
The NE Bushrangers trio of Charlie Young, Sam Maher and Brodie Paul have taken that challenge this year, stepping into development roles within the Big V North East Bushrangers Men’s team. While still juggling their final years of secondary college, junior rep and VJBL commitments for Wangaratta, these young men also manage their commitment to other sporting pursuits and casual work.
As they will all tell you, sometimes, you just have to miss one thing because you have too much going on, and quite often it is the senior commitment that suffers due to travel and time constraints. Charlie shared that, “Sometimes this involves doing homework on the bus to and from games.”
Between the three, and at just 17 years of age, they already have a long string of basketball accomplishments, having represented their association in the Victorian Jamboree, Basketball Academy, Golden Nugget Camp, NITP, Southern Cross Challenge, Country Cup, NZ Tour, Youth tours overseas, State team selection, VJBL, CBL and now Big V.
While in development roles, the expectation for each of them at trainings and on the court is nothing less than what is expected for the more experienced players. They have a role to fill, a job to be done, and are guided by Coach Annett and player mentors, Sartori, Hockley and the Wright brothers. Sam appreciates the regular “giving of feedback and advice on how to get better and what I should do in situations” to help integrate him into the playing group.
Sometimes their on-court stint is for a short burst to give someone a break, at other times it’s because they need to ‘do their thing’ and fill a void on the court. It’s difficult to ‘come off the bench’ late in the game when your body has cooled down, but you must be ready and take every opportunity that comes your way, it’s ‘that’ opportunity that will ultimately lead to the next!
Charlie mentioned that, “It’s been a huge learning process and really has taught me what my strengths are and what I need to put work into to improve to be an all-round player. Trainings are a lot more intense, going against the experienced players every training has made me a better player.” He added, “It’s a very professional environment unlike junior VJBL or rep and I love being around the older guys and trying to learn as much as possible off them.”
Taking the next step on from his 12 months in the Bushies development program, Sam reflects on how that has prepared him for playing in this State level competition, “I have learned to be able to score the ball, create for my teammates and defend bigger and more skilled players both at training and in games when given the opportunity.” He hasn’t been daunted by the leap to seniors and “would definitely encourage aspiring VJBLl/rep players to take the opportunity and challenge themselves to play, as I think it’s important and beneficial for them to start developing these skills at a younger age and to be around an older and more experienced basketball atmosphere is great to experience from a player's perspective.”
All three players have represented Wangaratta Basketball Inc for their entire junior rep years, climbing into the CBL Senior Rep program in recent years and have bright basketball futures ahead of them. And having now seen out much of the Big V 2021 season, Brodie feels that his key take-away from the program is that “you learn to be patient”, our offensive plays have a full 24-seconds in which to be executed, and sometimes the first option is not always the best! That’s a big learning curve for young players but he enjoys “playing the sport I love with a group of amazing and talented athletes” who guide him every step of the way.
Aspiring to head into the USA College system in the near future is high priority for these guys, which may lead to a more realist representation in the NBL and ultimately playing for Australia. Without question, they are all striving to make basketball a professional career, and there’s no doubt that a stint in the NE Bushrangers State League program will be a stepping stone in their development pathway, we wish them luck!
Big V returns to the courts this weekend after Lockdown-5.0 and our teams will be heading to RMIT for a double header on Saturday, followed by a home game for our Men vs Pakenham on Sunday. Unfortunately, for this return to sport, and for the next two weeks, no spectators are permitted.
Today's Wangaratta Chronicle features the NE Lady Bushrangers' co-captains, Tara Blair and Alex Trezise, who are providing a strong leadership model for our program.
The article can also be read online via subscription to the Benalla Ensign.
North East Bushrangers’ captain, Robbie Sartori, is one of the most respected basketball players in Victoria. Having played representative basketball across 27 seasons, including multiple CBL championships for Seymour, and a combined 9 seasons in Big V (State Championship - Melb Tigers, Div 1 – Shepparton and Div 2 for Bushies), he certainly knows how to prime himself for the task at hand.
His personal philosophy is to be his best in every single moment, having a clear picture of what that looks like for himself and always striving to be better than the day before. Sartori says, “Basketball for me has been such a great teacher of life and I am still driven to be better than I was yesterday, after all these years!”
As a player, he is a tough competitor first, and values the necessity for clear communication and a solid work ethic to stimulate and drive his team-mates. Sartori has the inner ability to focus and find the intellectual drive to effectively lead his team, while ensuring he instigates a program for effective recovery between sessions. It is this ability that has seen him continue to play his sport at an elite level for many years.
He loves the ethos that being part of team inspires in him and states, “the culture, camaraderie and ability of a group to come together in a mission-minded manner is what drives me the most.” It is this inspiration that has driven the success of Sartori and the teams he leads.
Off the court, Robbie is married with twin daughters, and owns a smash repair business yet he makes the time to ensure his fitness regime involves regular gym visits and shooting hoops as often as family life allows.
Robbie believes in ensuring the whole body is in peak condition before undertaking any physical activity and has developed his own business targeting fitness and strength, Flowstate Performance. His program assists athletes to implement high performance strategies to ensure they can capably achieve their sporting potential. This is actioned conditioning programs specific to their sport, examining sports psychology principles and education for improved individual and team performances, mental skill development, team culture and identifying flow triggers for all athletes.
If Robbie’s longevity and domination in the sport of basketball across decades is an example of the philosophy he follows, then perhaps we should take a leaf from his book to develop philosophies and maintain consistent and effective physical performances for ourselves.
When you watch Robbie Sartori in action on-court, you will witness the whole individual maximizing his potential every single time! We are proud to have Robbie lead our North East Bushrangers Men’s team this season and know that his drive and philosophies will contribute to an overall improved team performance for all our players as the season progresses.
End - May 12 2021 - WJ
Hosted by the NE Bushrangers on Saturday May 8, 2021 commencing 9.00am.
Ever wanted to watch the game from the best vantage point? Well, the scoretable is the BEST SEAT in the house AND you see the official game details first!
Our games can't happen without a scoretable, and Level 1 is easy - you just need to have a love of the game!
Make sure you register via the link provided and join us on game day.
Our USA Import, Jarmal Reid will be hosting a number of skills clinics during the second week of the school holidays in MANSFIELD, WODONGA & YARRAWONGA.
Suitable for players U10 - U16 Boys & Girls
Follow the links below to REGISTER.
**** Synergy Stats will be the only Stats program in operation from Round 1 of the 2021 Big V season ****
Basketball Victoria in conjunction with all of the BSA, BWA and BQ are pleased to announce we are moving to a new Stats Capture platform for the commencement of the 2021 Basketball Victoria Senior Representative Leagues Big V and NBL1 South.
The new program, Synergy Stats is designed to create a single Competition Administration eco system and assist in the delivery of statistical information to our digital assets.
Please find attached the training dates for Big V Stats Staff. Existing and new Stat personnel should nominate and REGISTER FOR TRAINING DATES that best suit them next week.
There are a number of different date online training opportunities being offered next week for all Big V stats persons. We have provided as many different sessions as possible so we can provide this training to them on a convenient day/time to them next week. (they only need to register for 1 session)
Synergy Stats will be the only Stats program in operation from Round 1 of the 2021 Big V season, so it’s important that we bring our people up to speed as soon as possible with the Big V season commencing March 13/14th.
CONTACT BIG V COMPETITIONS MANAGER, JEFF DOWNES for further information.
Phone: 0413 911 376
The North East Bushrangers’ Men’s program have secured the coaching expertise of Hayden Annett as they prepare for the 2021 Big V Season. Annett will take over the reins as Head Coach, relieving David de Koeyer who stepped down, citing other commitments. We are excited to secure someone of Annett’s calibre who will bring in a fresh approach for the Men’s program.
Annett has a strong background in basketball, hailing from Portland (Vic) and more recently Wallan, where he has been the Coaching Director 2017-19. Annett was an integral member of the University of Charleston’s Conference Championship in 2014, before heading back to Australia. He is a previous Big V player with more than 100 games under his belt and has picked up a number of playing awards at senior level to go with a SEABL Championship in 2015. Since turning his hand to the coaching role, Annett found success in 2016 where he coached U18 Boys to a Div 1 Championship title.
Annett currently holds a Vic Country AC position and is the Basketball Victoria Hub Lead Coach for the Shepparton Hub. We believe Annett’s all-round knowledge across multiple State, National and International platforms, coupled with his past playing experience, will provide the Bushies’ with an exciting edge.
Tryouts are currently in progress for the Men's team, and is giving Annett an insight to the talent we have up here in the northeast. Stay tuned to our socials for dates/venues of Tryouts, and to your local media over the coming days for an in-depth look at Hayden Annett!
Bring on the 2021 Big V season, and let’s watch closely to see how Annett provides the lift our Bushrangers’ Men need.
BENALLA ENSIGN: October 1 2020
Benalla Breakers women’s coach Tony Long lives and breathes basketball.
So, there is little surprise that Long, who holds dual roles at Benalla as its coaching director and women’s CBL coach, has added another role to his already long-established coaching resume.
Earlier this month, Long was appointed head coach of the North East Bushrangers Division 2 Women’s team for its 2021 season.
Long takes over the reins from departing head coach Jacqui Henry, who stepped away from the program during the off-season.
An assistant coach to Henry prior to taking on the top job, Long said he hoped to continue Henry’s work in building up the program.
“We may restructure how the team is seen, but I’ll be carrying some of the traits Jacqui developed as coach, and then find my own niche going forward,” Long said.
A key part of Long’s plans is recruiting a senior leadership group to carry the program forward.
“I’m just the conduit for the players. If they want to want to play and be a part of this group, I’m just here to assist and complement them,” Long said.
“These are adults, so the structure isn’t so much on development as it is on the people and what they want to achieve.”
Another crucial part to the program’s growth will be tapping into the wealth of talent in the north east.
“We have a lot of young players who come through, become great players and are going out the top end,” he said.
“Our focus is to tie it all together, from our junior clubs up and forge that pathway.”
North East Bushrangers men’s program will also have a new face at the helm next season, with Wodonga’s David de Koeyer announced as the team's new head coach.
He also steps up from an assistant coach's role, replacing former head coach Emma Henry.
Long said de Koeyer was a standout individual who would bring a lot of experience to the role.
“He’s a great player in his own right, and has been a long-term fixture in the program,” Long said.
Players wishing to lodge an Expression of Interest to play Big V in 2021, should complete the form below: