Boomers to bounce into Gippsland

Traralgon's own Chelsea D'Angelo and Jade Melbourne will join their WNBL Melbourne Boomers teammates when they visit Gippsland in September for a series of pre-season games. photograph kate withers

Traralgon's own Chelsea D'Angelo and Jade Melbourne will join their WNBL Melbourne Boomers teammates when they visit Gippsland in September for a series of pre-season games. photograph kate withers

BASKETBALL

A basketball frenzy will come to Gippsland in September when the Melbourne Boomers come to town to play three pre-season games against Bendigo Spirit for the region's inaugural WNBL Triple Crown tournament.

Game one will be held at the Traralgon Sports Stadium on September 13 with games two and three to be played in Maffra and Warragul respectively.

"We are very fortunate to have a great connection and a great partnership with the Latrobe Valley Authority to keep bringing WNBL down to Gippsland," Boomers general manager Justin Nelson said.

"It's not just one WNBL team - we're bringing Bendigo with us, so you've got two teams that are about to go head to head in the season on the same bus coming down for the benefit of the sport and people in Gippsland."

Nelson said the Latrobe Valley in particular was a region "rich in talent", with Traralgon products Jenna O'Hea and Chelsea D'Angelo and Jaz Shelly all on the Boomers list.

The tour will also feature a host of community activities including school visits, junior clinics, Aussie hoops sessions, open trainings, fan signings and photo opportunities across Gippsland.

"They are celebrities down here and they've also played for Australia so for the kids to be able to say 'there's a girl that lived in my street or went to my school' is pretty exciting," Nelson said.

"It's about the kids being be able see that they can also reach for the stars and hopefully one day get there."

Latrobe Valley Authority chief executive Karen Cain said the Triple Crown tournament and partnership with the Boomers was a "tremendous example of collaboration ... to bring shared benefit to [the] region".

"We're excited to help facilitate this fantastic event with the Boomers and ensure accessibility for our communities right across greater Gippsland," Ms Cain said.

The three-year partnership with the Boomers has been forged as part of the state government's $85 million sports and community package.

For more information, visit wnbl.com.au/melbourne/

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