WITH the silly season out of the way, it’s time to look ahead as we move headlong towards the start of the Big V season.
Let’s take a deep dive into the signings across our competition as the sides make the finishing touches to their rosters. With a new-look Championship Division and a number of new and familiar faces joining the league, it is poised to be yet another massive season across the state.
Bellarine (D1M, D1W)
One of our newest Associations, Bellarine, will replace Geelong’s two senior teams in season 2019. They’ve plied their craft excellently in the Country Basketball League, with the men’s side currently poised to play a CBL semi-final this weekend. With a good mix of junior and senior talent in the CBL line-up, it will be interesting to see who stays on for the debut Big V season.
Blackburn (CM, D2W, VYCM, Y2W)
The Vikings Championship Men’s team is looking like the main core will be returning for another stint at the league’s top flight, although there’s question marks over superstar Brendan Trewella’s return. Trewalla might be looking to take the season off basketball for personal reasons.
Bulleen (D1M, CW, VYCM, VYCW)
The Boomers look to retool as they have their sights firmly set on promotion to Championship Men for 2020. Stud import Thadd Varmall has re-signed, and will be much more comfortable in what is now his third year at the club.
Not a lot of noise made via their Championship Women’s team however, while their title contending Youth Men’s team over the past couple of years is looking at a shake up, with a number of vital members having moved clubs.
Camberwell (D2M, D1W, Y1M, Y1W)
The Dragons secured Max Barkeley early in the piece to their Division Two Men’s roster, as the former MMA fighter relocated back to Australia to resume a once blossoming Basketball career. He will join star Nat O’Hara who returns for another season as the team’s focal point.
Casey (CM, CW, Y1M, Y1W)
The Cavs have made some impressive transfers over the Summer period, securing the services of Alistair Parker (Sherbrooke) and Rachael Winters (Western Port) to continue to provide depth. With both sides now in the Big V Championship division, there’s plenty to play for from this up-and-coming south east association.
Chelsea (CW, D1W, Y2M, Y2W)
The Gulls swept early after winning the Division One Men’s Championship ensured their spot in Championship Men. Mainstay Corey Standerfer will once again lead the line, while Colin Voss will stay in similar colours after he made the short trip up the highway from Southern Peninsula. Ricki DeHaan has made the move over from Casey as well.
On the women’s side, another early coup was the signature of Gonzaga NCAA standout Shaniqua Nilles who comes to Chelsea after finishing up with German side Avides Hurricanes Rotenburg.
Coburg (D1M, D2W, Y2M, Y2W)
Siobhan Mac Aodha and Elo Magbegor will make their way back to Coburg after a year playing in Warrandyte’s Youth team.
Mangar Manyang is also suiting up for Coburg, as he makes the move to the land of the Giants following a stellar year with Melton.
Collingwood (D1M, D2W, Y2M, Y2W)
The news down at the All Stars has focused on coach movements as the club parted ways with former Coach of the Year Gani Sakiri. He has been replaced by Michael Battle, who looks to instill a new brand of basketball at Collingwood. Jonathan Lindhe is a question mark to be at the All Stars, however they’ve found a handy addition in former Giant Jordan Harding who bolsters their front court.
Corio Bay (CM, Y1M, Y1W)
The Stingrays look to be in somewhat of a rebuilding phase and Paul Hutchison will take full advantage of that to have Corio Bay primed and ready for when they make their push for a Championship in the near future. Despite losing key pieces in Michael Rebula and rising star Cohen Blythe to Geelong, the Stingrays have held onto Joel McFall while adding Ben Scannell, Jacob Pupavac and Kyle Meyer from the ‘Cats in somewhat of a mini-trade.
The biggest inclusions come from the international department, where Ivory Trae Young and Joe Reid are both set to light up the area. Young comes from SA’s Premier League which included a 45-point barrage for South Adelaide.
Craigieburn (D2M, D1W, Y2M, Y1W)
The Eagles were super quick in penciling in reigning MVP Damon Smith for another two-years, looking to set the club up for success during this period.
The club was so close to lifting two championship banners in 2018, with the Division Two Women’s team doing their part by knocking off Blackburn in the GF series, unfortunately though, the Men fell short throughout their post-season.
Eltham (VYCM, Y1W)
The Eltham Wildcats have made the move to Basketball Victoria’s Senior Elite League, and will now use their two youth teams as the driving force in the Big V.
Frankston (Y1M, Y1W)
Frankston will look to continue its resurgence back to the top flight in the two youth divisions, with eyes firmly on the respective Youth One championships, aiming to go back-to-back in progressive divisions.
Geelong (Y1M, Y1W)
The Supercats will field just two youth teams in season 2019, with their two senior teams being replaced by the Bellarine Storm after the Supercats firmly put their sights on the Senior Elite League.
Hawthorn (CM, D1W, VYCM, VYCW)
The Magic will be look to become a force of the Big V in this next period of time, with the club only going from strength to strength. Reigning league MVP Nelson Kirksey is set to return to the club and will be right up there in the competition’s best players once again.
Hume City (CM, CW, Y1M, VYCW)
It’s been a big off-season for the Hume City Broncos, with arguably a complete strip of their Championship Men’s Division team. After being competitive for a number of years, the Association has made the call that the current crop of stars just weren’t able to take them to the promised land and have now moved in a different direction.
That begins under new head coach Matt Foster who moves across from Bulleen’s Youth Men. He brings with him VYCM All Star Five member Shayan Mahboobi who will look to continue to rise through the ranks, alongside Matt Foster Jr, plus the additions of recycled Big V stars Jake Martin (ex-Bulleen) and Jordan Coleman (Keilor, former D1M GF MVP) make them look impressive. The other name thrown up is former SBL import Jamal Shabazz who last played for Mandurah in WA.
The Broncos Championship Women’s Division team has also seen some movement, securing the services of new head coach Dee Butler and also landing former Ballarat captain Kristy Rinaldi. To add to that, the Broncos have signed former WNBL Development Player Teyla Evans, while Briana Babic joins sister Bianca in Broadmeadows. Nicole Zammit is also expected to return.
Keilor (CM, CW, VYCM, Y1W)
The Thunder made a swift announcement when Chris Kaba was named as the immediate replacement for departing Jordan Coleman and will fill the void admirably. Their off-season didn’t end there, with the Thunder signing former G-League guard Mike Anderson, as well as European based forward Vlad Brckov. In addition, they’ve managed to grab last year’s Y1M MVP Daniaell Herbert from Werribee.
Erin Bollmann has been given the green light in Keilor and has re-signed to be the team’s first option once again in Championship Women.
Keysborough (D1M, Y2M)
While no official signing, the whispers are roaming that Big V superstar Ivan Platenik has declared Keysborough the destination of choice for 2019. The signing would be a huge coup for the Cougars and puts them in some contention to be a threat in 2019 after their stellar season in the year just gone.
Knox (VYCM, VYCW)
The Knox Raiders have made the move to Basketball Victoria’s Senior Elite League, and will now use their two youth teams as the driving force in the Big V.
Maccabi (D2M, Y2M)
The Warriors have welcomed back Benji Tamir to the fray after making the move back from McKinnon.
McKinnon (CM, CW, VYCM, Y1W)
The big news was Dillon Stith putting pen to paper to further his stay at the Cougar Den. The bigger news for the off-season however is the return of Eric Williams to the Big V. The former champion at Corio Bay will make his well anticipated return in March of 2019. Tom Boyle has also made the move across from Blackburn to bolster their big men stocks.
Melbourne University (D1M, D1W)
Melbourne Uni have bolstered their women’s stocks with the transfers of both Amelia Smith (DV) and Emmie O’Nial (Wallan).
Mildura (D2M, D1W)
As the Mildura Heat men fell agonisingly short of a fairytale finish in 2018, the retirement plans of Calvin Henry may be short lived. With the Heat superstar set to take up a coaching role with the club, negotiations have begun to get Henry back on the floor. Watch this space. In addition to that news, Mahaela Jackson has been signed on to be the new head coach.
North East (D2M, D2W)
The Bushrangers appointed both Jacqui Henry and Emma Henry as Women’s and Men’s head coaches respectively early on in the off-season.
Pakenham (D2M, D2W, Y2M, Y2W)
The Warriors have been hot property this off-season with a host of signings including Daniel Steen (Knox), Josh Dow (Sherbrooke), Elias Kafrouni (Sherbrooke), Keeley Patterson (Casey) and Shannon Patterson (Casey). The Warriors
Ringwood (VYCM, VYCW)
The Ringwood Hawks have made the move to Basketball Victoria’s Senior Elite League, and will now use their two youth teams as the driving force in the Big V.
One of our newest sides in the competition, we’re yet to hear much coming out of RMIT but it’s safe to say the Redbacks are set to make their first season memorable.
Sherbrooke (D2M, D2W, VYCM, Y2W)
The Suns were pretty loud in the late stages of 2018, announcing a slate of signings throughout December. Some of the signees included: Callam Langmaid, Blake Holland, Marcus Cope, James Denton, Nick Spicer, Rebecca Jones and the two import signatures of Kraig Shields and ex-Coburg player Deslyn Applewhaite.
Southern Peninsula (D2M, CW)
The Sharks have been one of the more transparent associations when it comes to off-season signings. They kicked off the festivities with Megan Smith and Kristine Lalonde the imports for the Women’s side before Troyce Manassa was declared the Men’s import for season 2019.
Surrounding these players are the likes of Emirson Devenie, Jamilee Pearce, Corey Bond, Rebecca Mawdsley, Gemma Simon, Lani Thornton, Ben James, Eliana Bravington and Kade Ebert to name a few.
Sunbury (D1M, CW, Y1M, VYCW)
The Jets’ two big booming recruits for the off-season were returnees. Former MVP Courtney Duever returns to the three-time defending champions. Ish Sanders is also a familiar name to Boardman Stadium and he’ll be suiting up for the Men in a bid to be a title contender in what looms to be a strong Jets line-up.
Wallan (D2M, D2W, Y2M)
The Panthers have decided to make an import with Trace Cureton on his way to Australia to play in the black and teal. Carly Simon has also made the move from Whittlesea.
Warrandyte (D1M, D1W, Y1M, Y1W)
Warrandyte has named a new men’s import who will also be the Youth Men’s head coach as Canadian Jacob Thom enters the fray at Warrandyte. Another positive signing was Meg Dargan returns to the club after a stint with Eltham.
Warrnambool (D1M, CW)
With Xavier Blount announcing that 2018 would be his last with the Seahawks, Warrnambool have been fairly quiet, deciding to keep most things in-house for the time being on both fronts, despite the Mermaids having been recently promoted to the league’s top flight.
Waverley (VYCM, VYCW)
The Waverley Falcons have made the move to Basketball Victoria’s Senior Elite League, and will now use their two youth teams as the driving force in the Big V.
Werribee (CM, CW, Y1M, Y2W)
The ink has barely dried on Werribee’s first major signing of the new season, with Sarah Elsworthy set to join the Devils for the Championship campaign. She’s been at the Adelaide Lightning for the last three seasons and is making the switch to the Devils for 2019. This might just be the start of many more signings to come out at Eagle Stadium, so we’ll keep an eye out.
Western Port (D1M, D1W, Y2M, Y2W)
The Western Port men looked to have relished quite well after losing their reigning MVP Dylan Travis. To bolster their stocks, the Steelers signed Tanner Samson who has had experience with the Denver Nuggets (work outs) and sharpened his trade in Spain for a number of years.
The boom recruit however, was bringing NBL veteran Daryl Corletto back to Australia after spending a number of years being player/coach over in the UK’s premier basketball league.
Across on the women’s side, the Steelers welcome back gun recruit Malika Jackson, plus Rachael Wansbrough and Billie Lucas.
Whittlesea (D1M, CW, Y2M, Y2W)
The Pacers wasted no time locking in their two female imports for 2019 after making the move back up into Championship Women. Dani Reinwald and Rachel Bell have been announced as major movers for head coach Damon Lowery’s side.
Did we miss any signings or announcements? Let us know and flick through an email – firstname.lastname@example.org.