‘Pathways and Opportunities’ are an important component of our basketball club and something we like to pride as a point of difference. Not everyone can become Liz Cambage or Andrew Bogut though! Along with pathways for players, the Wildcats provide avenues for those who can’t reach the elite levels as a player; through coaching, as a referee, an administrator, scorebench officials and statisticians.
We’d like to congratulate two of our terrific female leaders who have been selected as officials for the upcoming Australia v USA series. Alicia Vengust has been selected as a Statistician while Amy Vine will be looking after the Shot Clock during the Saturday night matchup.
Alicia was a junior player at the club, but quickly took a path in refereeing and in the club’s administration program. One day the club needed help on the ‘Stats Bench’ for a senior game and next thing you know, Alicia was there and she had a taste of it. Whilst undertaking refereeing for the club and it took her on trips to Adelaide and elsewhere, it was the administration and stats roles that she become well recognised around the country for. Many around Australia know Alicia as our ‘Communication Manager’ for the annual Eltham-Dandenong Junior Basketball Tournament, where she identifies and develops young members of the club’s administration to work on the tournament as part of her team. Her role is to keep contact with the more than 1,400 teams participating in the event and updating them on a regular basis.
Alicia’s role as a Statistician is one that has blossomed to the a national and international level, being selected over the last 10 years for a couple of national junior championships and more recently to the elite panels of WNBL and NBL and the rare opportunity of an Australian game; but without doubt, this will rate as the biggest occasion in Alicia’s journey. Whilst undertaking all of this, Alicia remains committed to the Eltham stats bench at a local level, recruiting, teaching and developing people of our own club in the discipline.
Amy Vine, like Alicia has had a taste of nearly all aspects of the Wildcats programs. Starting as a junior player of the club, Amy progressed right through the player pathway from Junior Domestic, to Junior Championship and into our Senior program, including playing in our State Championship women’s team in 2013 and 2014. Whilst following the playing pathway, Amy was and continues to be a regular amongst our coaching staff across the Junior Championship and Junior Domestic programs. As recently as 2019, Amy was appointed as an Assistant Coach to our Youth Women’s team; a role she has undertaken multiple times. Amy who is also a state level cricket player is also a well recognised Referee for the Wildcats, reaching the level of Referee Coach; a role of which she is still active.
However it is on the Scorebench where Amy has really shone and developed her leadership. For the past 5 years, Amy has been making the appointments and allocations for our Scorebench team to our Senior program matches, having learnt the skills many years prior to that. Her commitment and high level in this discipline has seen her working on WNBL and NBL matches along with the odd Australian team match. Like Alicia, Thursday’s nights match at Marvel Stadium will be the highest level to date of her Scoretable journey.
These two fantastic women are great examples of the pathways available to members of our community who wish to pursue them. Through their schooling, university and into their professional careers, they’ve maintained active roles both voluntary and paid within the Eltham Wildcats Basketball Club. We’d like to congratulate them both and wish them the very best of luck!
When you’re checking the shot clock or looking up how many points Patty Mills scores on Saturday night; just remember Amy and Alicia are amongst the people making it happen and they are apart of your Wildcats basketball community.
We look forward to sharing with you the other 7 Wildcats who will play roles across the Australia v USA matches, as floor wipers, pre-game entertainment and official ceremonies.