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Sport

8 February, 2024

Determination pays off for Munyard

Levi Munyard has been selected as an emergency for the Victorian Under-18 Country Men National Championships team which will be playing in Brisbane from April 7 to 14.

By Chris Graetz

Photo: Basketball Victoria
Photo: Basketball Victoria

The 15-year-old has been recognised following years of hard work and an excellent Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup (ACJBC) in Albury, January 16-20.

Initially named as an emergency for the ACJBC for the second year running, which made him more determined to work harder on his basketball, Levi got the call-up in December and took it with both hands.

In the tournament, Munyard played for the U18 boys Goldminers which made the semi-final, losing to the NSW Kookaburras. He scored 52 points, averaging 6.5 a game.

He played exceptionally well which was enough to be recognised.

Last year, he was named as an emergency with the under-16 state team for the Nationals in Perth after being the only basketballer not to play in the ACJBC. He was close to playing and was on standby but at the last minute the player who he would have been replacing passed his fitness test.

Levi's mum, Amanda, said that Levi is looking forward to the opportunity this year.

"He will be competing with kids that are 12 months older and he is excited about it," Amanda said.

"It's a fantastic opportunity and a great experience.

"Hopefully this time next year he will be in the state squad and a lot of work needs to be done for that to happen, but it's a goal he is working towards. He gets an opportunity to train with state squad teams with high-quality kids so it's a great step."

Levi does a lot of work behind the scenes training hard and is in various programs. He trains with Rebecca McIntyre as well as the Cam Bruce Basketball Academy at Horsham College.

Amanda said they are proud of him.

"We are very proud. He puts a huge amount of work in and it's incredible," Amanda said.

"He gets a lot of feedback and it's amazing to watch a child set themselves goals and achieve them. Learning nothing comes free and it makes him more determined to achieve."

Levi plays for the Ballarat Miners in the Victorian Junior Basketball League, which plays games in Melbourne every Friday night.

Alongside those commitments, he also is in the state development program, a year-long program for kids in the state team system.

A typical week for the Munyard household sees Levi go to Ballarat on Monday nights for the state development program, training for the Miners on Tuesday, and then games on Friday nights.

It's a lot of travel and Amanda said they make it work.

"Myself and my husband make it work and we share the driving. It's a big commitment and it's great for Levi," Amanda said.

"It's a long game and it's exciting to see where he could be in 12 months.

"He wouldn't be here without Horsham Basketball behind him. They have done an incredible job."

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