About the U18's
Like all of Basketball Australia’s junior programs, the U18 Championships provides the athletes with an invaluable understanding of what it takes to represent their state or territory at an elite competition.
These competitions have been the stepping stone to international success for a number of Australia’s finest basketball players and have provided invaluable experience for the players to draw on as they further their careers.
Each year at the U18 Men’s and Women’s Championships the best men and women in each state and territory compete for the Merv Emms Australian U18 Men’s Championship and the Maree Jackson Australian U18 Women’s Championship.
The women’s trophy for the Under 18 Junior National Championships is named in honour of Maree Jackson. Maree broke new ground for Australian women’s basketball as the first female athlete to attend a US college on a scholarship when she played at Louisiana State and was a member of the 1975 and 1979 Opals teams that competed at the World Championships.
Jackson, one of the most outstanding female athletes to come from Australia, in 2006, was an inductee into Basketball Australia's Hall of Fame.
Maree was a member of the Opals team, and represented Australia in 30 games. She was a member of the Opals in 1975 and 1979 when they competed at the World Championships. In 1979, the team had a ground-breaking fourth placed finish at the world titles. At the time, it was the highest-placed finish at an international championship by any senior Australian national team.
Maree hit a new landmark when she got a scholarship to play US college basketball at Louisana State, becoming the first Australian female athlete to achieve such a feat. Basketball didn't stop with Maree, she is mother of the current Opals superstar, former WNBL and current WNBA player, Lauren Jackson.
There is a special connection to the Australian U18 Championships for Maree. Her team won two titles at the Championships, in 1971, and 1972, with her team competing a total of three times.
The Under 18 Men’s National Championship trophy is named after the late Merv Emms. Merv helped pave the way for basketball in Australia. Being a coach, official, working in administration and being a life-long volunteer of the sport earned him the title as a true pioneer for Australian basketball.
The greatest contribution Merv made to basketball was through his coaching, despite being a technical official at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games and having been involved with designing the Alexandria Basketball Stadium in 1967. During his time coaching, he amassed seven national titles coaching the junior teams and had been responsible for developing the NSW Coaches Association. His involvement in NSW Country basketball and basketball throughout the Oceania region made him an important figure.
In November 2000 before Emms passed away, he was honoured with the presentation of a life membership of Basketball NSW and a 2000 Government Sports Medal for his contribution to basketball. He was also named as a Member of Honour of Oceania Basketball.
To label the Under 18 men’s trophy after the name of this great Australian basketball pioneer is especially appropriate because he was the coach of the winning team at the very first Under 18 Australian Men’s championships in 1954.
Basketball Australia Fair Play Award
In an effort to re-establish the concept of sportsmanship and respect in sport and to recognise the significance of the principles of fair play, Basketball Australia introduced a Fair Play Award for all Australian Junior Championships in 2003.
The award is to recognise the region that conducts itself in a respectful manner over the course of the Championship. The award, over time, is designed to:
• Promote sportsmanship at a young age
• Encourage respect for the officials
• Foster positive support of team by parents and supporters
• Reward responsible coaching, and
• Generally emphasise the positive values of RESPECT, COMPETITIVE UNDERSTANDING and COOPERATION.
The games played during the Championships are evaluated on six different criteria:
• Positive Play
• Respect toward the Opponent
• Respect towards the Officials
• Behaviour of Team Officials (Coaching Staff, Managers etc.)
• Behaviour of Team Supporters
Previous winners of the Fair Play Award
2005 - Queensland South
2006 - Victoria Metro
2007 - Northern Territory
2008 - Northern Territory
2009 - Queensland South
2010 - Australian Capital Territory
2011 - South Australia Metro
2012 - Northern Territory Women