Basketball: Thwaites at home with coaching role

Tyrone Thwaites (far left) with the Under-16 Metro Men’s side for Perth, July 8-15.
Tyrone Thwaites (far left) with the Under-16 Metro Men’s side for Perth, July 8-15.

EXCITEMENT is building after squads for July’s Australian Junior Championships were announced last week.

Coaching WA’s Under-16 Metro Men’s side for a second year is Munster’s Tyrone Thwaites.

The squad also includes Cooper Eves (player) and Yinleng Hor (team manager) from the Cockburn Basketball Association, while Coogee resident Ayomide Afolabi will hit the court and Munster resident Mark Clayden will call the shots as assistant coach.

Lakeside’s Liam Patterson is a reserve.

After leading the team to bronze in Victoria in 2016, Thwaites said his squad was good enough to give the tournament another good shake.

“We’re big, athletic and exciting,” he said.

“We have no shortage of height and athletes who can play across multiple positions, which is great as a coach; it gives us flexibility.”

WA’s metro and country sides will enjoy home-court advantage this time around, but Thwaites said that was a double-edged sword.

“Having most people in the stands on our side will be a welcome change, although the weight of expectation is higher in front of our peers.

“But the boys are focused.

“They know what they have to do to reach their goals and we know what we have to do as coaches to get them there.”

In the women’s metro side is Yangebup resident Tia Morgan.

Lakeside’s Montana Turnbull and Atwell resident Sarah Allen are in the squad as reserves.

Cockburn’s Fleur McIntyre is assistant coach of the Under-16 Country Men’s side.