A slam dunk for Majella

December 06, 2017

Majella Roberts is playing for the Panthers under 14 boys side. She is pictured (right) with her older brother Zavia.

MAJELLA Roberts is bringing girl power back to the Heathcote Panthers under 14 boys side.

The only girl in the squad, the 11-year-old pocket rocket joined after the Panthers struggled to form an under 14 girls side due to low numbers.

With dreams of making it into the Bendigo Junior Braves under 14 girls squad, there was only one hurdle in her way — she needed to find a domestic side to play on to be considered for the Braves.

Thankfully, the Panthers under 14 boys side welcomed her with open arms.

Majella’s mum Catherine Lonergan said her daughter was over the moon to be accepted into the team.

‘‘It’s fantastic Majella was granted permission from Bendigo Basketball Association to join the boys,’’ she said.

‘‘She now plays with the Bendigo Braves on Tuesday nights, trains with them Sundays and then trains and plays with the Panthers as well.

‘‘And the boys have been fantastic about having her on the team. They’ve been very understanding if she can’t make it to their training due to Bendigo training.’’

Catherine said Majella had improved vastly since joining the Braves.

‘‘Her whole game approach has stepped up. She’s really being pushed in Bendigo — and luckily her Braves coach is also the coach of the Panthers U14 boys, so she has that consistency.’’

Majella isn’t the only shining star in the Heathcote Panthers — Riley Bruce, Jesse Bruce, Dan Koopmans, Anthony Willoughby, Daniel Butler and Wally Butler have also made it onto Junior Braves teams.

And Catherine said the club was always looking for more recruits to join its talented teams.

‘‘We’d love to see more kids down there, it’s such a team sport,’’ she said.

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