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    Victorian under 20 women’s assistant coach Kelly Walker, head coach Jo Wood and assistant coach Rebecca McIntyre.

Rebecca McIntyre coaches basketball team to gold

Rebecca McIntyre has claimed a second national championship gold medal for basketball, this time as an assistant coach of the Victorian under-20s team.

McIntyre said the state team’s 75-59 win against South Australia in the grand final came a year after her team finished runner-up, and even longer since she had won a gold medal as a player. 

“For me, having went through the program as a player and winning a gold medal with Vic Country in 1997, and now to be able to come back to a program, which is so esteemed, as a coach – it’s rare to have a gold medal in both,” she said. 

McIntyre said she had been involved in state-level coaching for five years and the demands of the week-long tournament in Ballarat were beneficial to her skillset.

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“Tournament play is unique. It is hard fixing things on the fly, whether that is soreness, injuries or form,” she said.

“You have to take it day-by-day and you can’t get too far ahead of yourself. 

“So, to get to the end of the week and play in front of a packed stadium, with the game being livestreamed, was very special.

“And then I get to come back to the Horsham association and coach our players, so they know the language and expectations at the next level.”

McIntyre said she was surrounded by elite talent at the tournament. 

“We had the top 12 under-20 women in the state,” she said.

“Three of our girls are at the Australian Institute of Sport and two are already on WNBL rosters. They are 12 exceptional athletes and to be involved at that level is an amazing opportunity.”

McIntyre said Victoria was usually considered favourites going into the tournament, but was up against a dangerous South Australian team in the deciding match. 

“South Australia was an excellent shooting team, who had come back from 16 points down against New South Wales earlier in the week,” she said.

“It wasn’t as easy as it looked on the final score, but we did get that chance in the last 30 seconds to be really present in the moment.”

McIntyre thanked her family, Brent and Izabella, for the sacrifices they had made for her to be on the state coaching staff. 

She also thanked Horsham Amateur Basketball Association for its support. 

– Sean O’Connell

The entire February 7, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!