La Trobe Women’s team gear up for University Basketball League debut

The inaugural University Basketball League (UBL) season is right around the corner and there is plenty of buzz around La Trobe University’s women’s team.

After a year of no sport, excitement is at fever pitch amongst the La Trobe women’s team as they prepare for their first match of the competition on April 13.

The UBL is a new national basketball league endorsed by Basketball Australia for university students, designed to strengthen the pathway to professional basketball in Australia.

In 2021, seven universities will battle it out over six weeks across men’s and women’s competitions around Australia to determine the strongest university basketball team in the country. Each participating university will have the chance to host and livestream matches throughout the competition.

Altona Gators Big V Women’s coach Cameron Wilkosz will be taking the reigns as the coach of La Trobe’s women’s team and Jayde Kirk has been announced as the captain for the inaugural campaign.

Ahead of the start of the season, Wilkosz says the team is raring to go.

“It’s really exciting to be back on court,” he said.

“Last year we practiced on a Thursday and then we got told the world had shut down on the Friday, and here we are 12 months later back on court.”

After a 12-month shutdown, this is the team’s first opportunity to utilise the brand new La Trobe Sports Park stadium, which Wilkosz describes as some of the best facilities in Australia.

With plenty of basketball experience, including a stint in the Canadian college basketball system, Wilkosz is extremely excited about the team he will be leading into the UBL.

“Our captain Jayde Kirk is one of those players you want to run through a brick wall for – she’s the captain, the players’ captain and just a fantastic leader,” Wilkosz said.

“There’s so much skill out there; Hayley Harrington two years ago was a Big V All-Star. There’s some really exciting young guards coming through as well, so I think this will be a fantastic program for many years to come.”

Like the rest of the team, captain Jayde Kirk is juggling study commitments while also playing basketball for her Big V side, Hume City Broncos.

Now with the added responsibility as captain of the women’s UBL team, the point guard says she is looking forward to the challenge of leading Team La Trobe in its inaugural UBL campaign.

“I think everyone is really pumped to get back into it because we missed all of last year,” Kirk said.

“We’ve got so much depth – from the bench to our starters, we’ve got everything. I’m really excited to see everyone get going. We want to win and we’re hungry to win.”

La Trobe University will kick off its UBL campaign with a trip to Queensland to take on the University of the Sunshine Coast on April 13.

The following week, La Trobe will host two rounds of games at the La Trobe Sports Stadium on April 21 and April 22 (both Women and Men) against the University of Technology Sydney and the University of Sydney respectively.

Stay tuned to the La Trobe Sport Facebook and Instagram channels for more details on how you can follow Team La Trobe’s UBL campaign, including information on our home matches at the La Trobe Sports Stadium and livestream links.

To view the full fixture for the 2021 UBL season, click here.

2021 La Trobe University UBL Women’s Squad

NameBig V Team
Poppy BlanchBendigo Braves
Anna BurrowsEltham Wildcats
Emily DaviesEltham Wildcats
Eilish FeehanWarrandyte
Jacqueline GehrigAltona Gators
Hayley HarringtonBendigo Braves
Jayde Kirk (Captain)Hume City Broncos
Tashia OverbyHume City Broncos
Sophie PerkinsBendigo Braves
Kiara MountfordEltham Wildcats
Meg StagollEltham Wildcats
Jamieson WeddleEltham Wildcats
Grace WhiteleyN/A
Ellen WrightHume City Broncos