The purpose of the basketball academy is to engage students in learning, allow authentic relationships to grow to support and encourage better choices, and to increase class attendance. Using a transformative approach, we aim to provide our students the opportunity to take ownership of the program and in many areas the program encourages student led initiatives. Some of the programs and initiatives this includes are the Futures Program, Alumni Coaching Program, community volunteering involvement, CBSQ, WSL21, District Schools representation, and other student led initiatives including our recent implementation of girls' basketball and multicultural diversity celebrations.
The Futures Program
The basketball academy has over 60 student participants, ranging from Years 5-12 of all mixed abilities. For our senior students we offer leadership opportunities, coaching opportunities and utilise the latest technological resources to help the participants learn how to critically analyse themselves. This approach helped grow the academy so we could then offer a futures program (Year 5-7) that focuses on FMS. As we explained to these players, 'What we can offer you is a different perspective and context for your basketball IQ, we are not certain how it will help each of you individually, but it is guaranteed to help somewhere in life at some time.' We are now beginning to see the impact of this philosophy as they mature into skilled, dignified, competitive leaders. It has been an incredible opportunity for growth for all of us, particularly learning to grow positive culture with young people.
Alumni Coaching Program
A primary focus of our basketball community is to welcome back St Eugene College Alumni to help coach our CBSQ Teams. This focus has provided opportunities for growth, sustainability of the program, and continued connection and belonging for our students past and present. We appreciate and celebrate these opportunities as much as possible.
First Female Basketball Team
A true and authentic example of how the basketball academy is transforming learning and how it provides opportunities for student led learning and community building, is the creation and implementation of our first ever college girls' basketball team. This need was led by our senior female students, who also helped create, coach the team, and implement team philosophies. This team celebrated its first year with incredible growth and success reaching the quarterfinals of the CBSQ Tournament. Due to their inspirationally persistent efforts, they have inspired over 20 young girls to join our academy, and build our first ever junior girls' basketball team.
Community Volunteering Involvement
Our participants are regularly provided opportunities to volunteer in our extended community and to promote our college values outside of our college community. Evident in our work with other BCE primary schools to support literacy programs and supporting teachers during learning time. Assisting at sporting carnivals and working with neighbouring schools to play practice games leading up to major sporting events.
Multicultural Diversity Celebration
In 2020, the basketball academy celebrated the diversity of its participants. We became aware that a significant population of our participants identified as Indigenous Australian, and many others with heritage from our local pacific island neighbours and other regions of the world. To acknowledge this multicultural diversity, we offered these students an opportunity to design a shirt that represented our college and local indigenous culture. A student led Design Team was created to make the design work (digitally and strategically) on a warm-up/training shirt. This led to our own staff wanting to celebrate our diversity with our staff shirt. Further evidence of transformative, student led initiatives in action supporting community growth and positive cultural change.
Championship Basketball Schools Queensland 2021
Last year our two CBSQ representative teams made the finals of the tournament. The furthest we have ever gone in the tournament; this included our first ever medal. We are planning to nominate more teams (three) to the CBSQ Tournament this year. This will depend on the success and review of our most ambitious venture yet, the Wizard's Elite Basketball League 2021. Our juniors may have the opportunity to join the CBSQ 3x3 tournament. 3x3 basketball is now an Olympic event!
Wizard's Elite Schools League 2021
Our most ambitious endeavour is our submission of four teams that will participate in the WSL21. These teams will be provided many opportunities to grow team chemistry, resilience, communication skills and develop advanced skills in basketball. These squad members will be our first consideration for CBSQ selection. The justification being, 'A champion team, will always beat a team of champions.'
District Basketball Opportunities
It is safe to say that our basketball program has improved fundamentally, evident in our student buy-in, community building focus and as of 2021 our highest population of district school basketball representatives ever. We look forward to providing more opportunities for elite level growth, that can be shared with our academy participants.
Today, this program has unexpectedly reached over 60+ students and 7 coaches, 4 that attend practices many times a week, and 6 team managers that support the teams. The initial considerations, attendance, behaviour, and school success has improved. It has provided many of our senior students the opportunity to practice leadership skills, many students that struggle with school generally the opportunity to find some success, and the open-door policy encourages many to come and try at their own pace. We hope to continue to grow, continue to build a sustainable positive culture and to support our student participants to improve academically, to be part of a community, and to become positive community role models.
Thank you all for your support and we look forward to a very exciting 2023!
©Brisbane Catholic Education, St Eugene College, 2023