By Oliver Lees
Local basketball star Maddi Condron is shooting for gold.
The Woodend local has been selected to represent Victoria in the under-20 women’s side at at upcoming Australian Junior Championships, to be held in Mackay, Queensland, from May 3 to May 7.
After qualifying for the development squad last year, this will be Maddi’s first time representing her state at these championships. But Maddi has tasted success before, as she was part of the Vic Country winning side at the 2019 country championships.
At six feet seven inches (200 centimetres), Maddi spends most of her time in the key playing the centre position, using her size to pull down rebounds and make plays.
She was one of the stand out performers in the development team, as one of only a handful of players to average more than six points, whilst also leading the competition in field goal percentage at 66.67 per cent.
She said she’s over the moon to be given the opportunity.
“It’s so amazing to be a part of this team,” Maddi said.
“I’ve been playing since I was 11 years old so this is a dream come true.
“The Vics usually do very well at these tournaments, so I’m hoping we can go for gold this time round.”
Head coach Katrina Hibbert said the group’s depth and versatility will make them hard to match up against in Mackay.
“We have a group of athletes that have size, length and versatility in all positions mixed with elite level experience,” Hibbert said.
“After the past 12 months of uncertainty from week-to-week on competitions, it’s exciting to see the tournament up and running for this cohort of athletes who have already missed so much competitive basketball.
“I’m looking forward to working with a talented group of female athletes in a challenging tournament environment against the other top female players of their age group in Australia.”
And Maddi’s not the only all star in her family. Her younger sister, Erin, will also be pulling on the big V at the under-18 competition, her second selection after getting the call-up for the under-16 side in 2019.
Maddi said the pair get along very well and make an effort to support each other at competitions.
“We really have a classic sibling rivalry,” she said.
“I’m proud of her [Erin] for making the team and I know she feels the same way about me.”
After the tournament wraps up, Maddi will be ticking another dream off her list, when she heads over to the United States to start her college career.
Maddi will join three other Aussies already on the list at the University of Portland’s Pilots basketball program on a US College scholarship.
She’ll spend four years at the college and hope to help the side go back-to-back after they took out the West Coast Championship last year.