WATCH: Ipswich teams playing in Qld u18 State Champs
IPSWICH'S brightest young basketball talents will compete against some of the state's best players this week.
The Ipswich Force will have three teams competing at the Basketball Queensland Under-18 State Championships, which tips off on the Gold Coast today.
Games will be livestreamed on the QT.
Coach Chris Clarkson will lead one of the Force's boys sides in the division two bracket.
Their first game gets going from 11am on Wednesday against the Northside Wizards.
"I've had the pleasure of coaching these guys each second year over the last eight years so I've coached them four times," he said.
"They're a great bunch of guys.
"We've often played in division one. This year we've been relegated to division two. So we're looking at winning a medal this year.
"For a lot of these guys it will be their last state championships because under-18s is the last year of junior basketball.
"So I want them to go through and hopefully take a medal from this competition for their work over those eight years."
Clarkson has his sights set on his side making it to the grand final of the five-day tournament and said the event was invaluable to the competitors and the game more widely.
They will play five games in their pool before finals.
"I think state championships are held in a high standard by all basketballers around the state," he said.
"It really lets them get out and play against players they don't usually get to play against.
"They're playing against players from Cairns down to the Gold Coast and every basketball precinct in between.
"State championships, like any championships where you bring a whole heap of good players together, are absolutely valuable to the development of the sport.
"State teams get chosen from this as well.
"Some of these players can go on and play professional basketball. We've got players who are good enough to do that.
"Certainly some of them will be heading to college in the next couple of years over in the states hopefully with COVID getting under control."
To watch the livestream, visit here.
DAY ONE SCHEDULE
8am: U18 Boys Div 1 - Sunshine Coast Phoenix v Gold Coast Waves
9.30am: U18 Girls Div 1 - Logan Thunder Gold v Gold Coast Waves
11am: U18 Boys Div 2 - Northside Wizards 2 v Ipswich Force
12.30pm: U18 Boys Div 2 - Sunshine Coast Rip v Gold Coast Breakers
2pm: U18 Boys Div 1 - Gold Coast Waves v Mackay Meteors
3.30pm: U18 Girls Div 1 - Gold Coast Waves v Gladstone Power
5pm: U18 Girls Div 2 - Gold Coast Rollers v Southern Districts Titans