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Night Ballin'

YOU DON’T NEED to be a basketball champ to join the fun of the LAUNCH Night Series Basketball tournament, just the desire for a good time.

16-year-old Manoj Rajkumar has been involved in the tournament since its inception, and has managed to convince – not only his mates – but his entire family to get involved.

“I invited one of my friends by just asking ‘are you free on Saturday?’ He was new to Darwin, so I told him to join if he wanted to make new friends and learn how to play basketball. I thought it would be a good experience for him and you learn lots of new stuff,” he says.

Despite not needing expert ball skills for the tournament, Rajkumar knew his way around the court. He first picked up basketball five years ago after watching his older sister on the court. 

“My sister started playing when she was six and she’s really, really good – she’s got so many skills, and I wanted to be like her,” he says.

He admits he’s not quite as good as her just yet, but is working towards it, playing in the local tournaments as well as the Night Series.

The youth tournament is open for everyone aged 12-17, and doesn’t just teach b-ball skills. There are also workshops that cover life skills relevant to teens, plus a decent feed and transport home if needed.

“When I signed up I thought it would be a serious tournament, then I realised it was about getting to know each other and having 
a good time. It was really good,” Rajkumar says.

Registrations are now open for players, and if you’ve got a sports-loving family like Rajkumar, they can join as volunteers off the court as well. Swish!

LAUNCH Night Series Basketball Every Sat 2-23 Nov | 7-11pm | Casuarina Senior College | Free | launchdarwin.com.au

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