Hillcrest Specialist Basketball
Hillcrest’s Basketball Program is widely recognised as being one of the strongest in Queensland, while also being a competitive force on an Australian Level. The program runs all year round and includes opportunities for all students (Prep-Year 12) to participate. Involvement in the program gives students the capacity to improve their skills and by the time they reach Year 5, regular competitions and tournaments are provided to students. The primary focus of the Hillcrest Basketball Program is to develop the whole child within an inclusive, excellence-based culture.
One of the strongest emphases Hillcrest develops in players is the strong values culture it promotes focusing on developing as a Team, rather than focusing on individual talent. Developing a team culture and working as a united group develops skills in players to reach their potential but also be prepared for the various rigour, setbacks and challenges high levels of sport require.
Hillcrest Basketball Structure
Our investment in Basketball commences within the Junior Learning Community (JLC) Cocurricular Program with Sparks, Flames and Explosions. These programs are designed to support working families along with providing skills-based activities for after-school hours. The program is a user-pays program, with a term-by-term commitment. Generally, these programs are an affordable alternative to other after-school care options along with providing experience in Basketball from a younger age.
The Basketball Excellence Program
The Basketball Excellence Program (BEP) is designed to provide opportunities for student athletes to pursue the development of their basketball skills and abilities. The BEP has three levels, Freshman (Under 15), Emerging and Opens. These squads are reflective of general ability and are not entirely based on age. The ability of each student is ascertained through training and performance.
The Open and Emerging Squads are comprised of the most talented and gifted basketballers in the Senior Learning Community, with the best possible combination of players making up the Open Boys and Open Girls teams. All students in the Open and Emerging Squads are given opportunities to represent the College at a variety of games and tournaments.
In 2021, students will have the opportunity to be selected for the Open Boys and Girls, teams to represent Hillcrest at the Champion Basketball School of Queensland (CBSQ) tournament. To qualify for Nationals – ASC (Australian Schools Championships) teams must win CBSQ. The College will only send under 17 boys and girls teams to the Australian Schools Championships (Nationals) if we do not win at CBSQ.
The Freshman Squads at Hillcrest were introduced in 2016 as a strategic measure to nurture the youth development at the College. To be part of the Freshman Squads, students must not be turning older than 14 in the year of the program. The purpose of the Freshman Squads is to develop students in more complex structures often seen in the Senior and Emerging Squads.
In 2021, students will have the opportunity to be selected for the Freshman Boys and Girls, teams to represent Hillcrest at the Champion Basketball School of Queensland (CBSQ) tournament.
Hillcrest leverages an extensive lineup of coaches, College Alumni and staff to support our Basketball teams across various ages and stages of development and to develop students as people along with skill and team development. From Head of Basketball Excellence, Pero Cameron is supported by Head Coaches Dave Claxton, Paul Szigeti, Rebecca Morris along with other coaches, staff and specialists such as previous AFL player Matt Lappin to develop individuals capabilities and fitness.
The most important part is the development and relationship as a community between players, Hillcrest, and families to aim for the best outcomes for each student and as a team.
Head of Basketball Development
Pero Cameron is a highly talented and experienced basketball player and coach who brings a wealth of experience to the Hillcrest Basketball Excellence team.
As a Player:
- Nine-time New Zealand National Basketball League champion (1995-1997, 1999-2002, 2008, 2009) NBL Rookie of the Year (1992)
- British Basketball League champion (2002)
- NBL Rookie of the Year (1992)
- Five-time Kiwi MVP (1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999)
- Seven-time NBL All-Star Five (1994-1999, 2001)
- Part of the All tournament Team of the 2002 World Championships
- Maori Sportsman of the Year (2002)
- Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to basketball – Queen’s Birthday Honours (2011)
As a Coach:
- Two-time New Zealand National Basketball League champion (2010, 2011)
- New Zealand National Basketball League Coach of the year (2010)
- Participated in 3 World Championships (2002, 2006, 2010)
- Participated in 2 Olympic Games (2000, 2004)
- Captain of the New Zealand Team that reached the semi-final of the World Championship (2002)
- Commonwealth Games Silver Medal (2006)
Continues to support, lead, coach and mentor students into Basketball Excellence and their Basketball professions.
Coach Claxton is a very experienced player and coach with multiple NBL coaching stints, including being the Gold Coast Rollers head coach and assistant coach to the men’s national team, comprising a world championship in Toronto, finishing fifth.
Locally he has shared his passion and knowledge on the Gold Coast, having been involved in growing school basketball programs for over 17 years and producing a generation of the Gold Coast’s best talent. For his service and experience, he has been inducted into the Queensland Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016 and continues to invest in the students and Hillcrest Christian College Basketball Excellence program.
John Szigeti is a former National Basketball League player with Brisbane Bullets and Gold Coast Rollers. Recently John was appointed the 2020 Queensland State League Coach.
Rebecca Morris has a strong passion for basketball and recently appointed the Gold Coast Rollers, Women’s Div 1 coach and is a Director on the Gold Coast Basketball Board.