Rocky All Blacks make long haul

THE Rocky All Blacks were all too keen to make the 13-hour bus trip to Cairns last week, for their chance to compete in their beloved sport, basketball.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander National Basketball Championship was held at the Bendigo Bank Basketball Centre with more than 15 state teams competing.

It was the Perth Blue Jays who claimed the title, and who took the Cairns Dream Team down at 66-58 in the women's A-grade grand final.

And although The Rocky All Blacks came third in their pool, missing out on qualifying for the semi-finals, they did make an outstanding improvement from last year.

Competitor Tammy Tatow said it was a very competitive atmosphere, and their loss hasn't dampened their spirits.

“We have improved greatly from last year, we played much better,” she said.

“We set ourselves a personal goal of 10 points per game, and we met that, anything more was a bonus.”

Tatow said they were slowly climbing up the ladder and hope to take home a place next year in Melbourne, where the next competition will be held.

And The Rocky All Blacks already have a plan in place.

“We need to have more commitment and more training,” Tatow said.

“We already play each Monday in Rockhampton, but we need more tactics.”

Tatow said that the competition proved to be an eye-opener for their young talents.

“The young girls really didn't expect it to be that competitive,” she said.

“But it was good for them to see what it is all about.”

Next year the Rocky All Blacks hope to raise enough money to send the Under-18 team away.

And they are starting early, with their first fundraising event in October.

All Blacks player Roslyn Doyle said that funding has been difficult for the team to secure their spots in the competition.

“We have unbelievable talent in the young teams so we hope to raise enough to send away our Under 18 and Under 16 teams,” she said.

“The whole event has such a positive atmosphere, where hundreds of people gather together all on a positive high - it is unreal.”

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