U13 Challenges will be introduced in 2024 and will be aimed at nurturing young talent in the with a mission to develop skills and foster an understanding of the game.

Country Under 13 Girls

Suzy Batkovic Challenge

The Suzy Batkovic Challenge, named to commemorate Batkovic’s exceptional contributions, both within and beyond the court, seeks to encapsulate the principles she has consistently represented throughout her illustrious journey: unwavering commitment, sportsmanlike conduct, and a dedication to contributing back to the community. 

Batkovic, a standout left-handed frontcourt player hailing from Lambton, Newcastle, is undeniably one of Australia’s greatest women’s basketball players. With a string of accolades, including three Olympic medals (silver in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, bronze in London 2012) and a bronze in the 2002 FIBA World Championships, she’s been recognized as the International Player of the Year with two Maher Medals. In her remarkable 16-season WNBL career, she secured five titles, six MVP awards, and a record 29 Finals appearances, retiring as the all-time leading scorer in the league’s history. 

Suzy’s illustrious international career spanned seven years in Europe, with four championships to her name, including a coveted Euroleague championship. She further left her mark in the WNBA after being selected in the first round of the 2003 WNBA draft by the Seattle Storm. Her legacy endures through the Suzy Batkovic Award, which honours her enduring impact on the sport.

Updates on information and further players may be added at a later date.

U13 Suzy Batkovic Challenge – 11th January 2024 at Maitland Basketball Stadium. 
Country Under 13 Boys

Damian Martin Challenge

The Under 13 Boys Challenge is named after NSW Country junior representative, Damian Martin OLY.

Damian Martin OLY is a former Australian professional basketball player, had an 11-season stint with the Perth Wildcats in the National Basketball League. He played three seasons of college basketball in the US before making his NBL debut with the West Sydney Razorbacks. From 2009 to 2020, Damian represented the Wildcats and secured six NBL championships. He is recognised as one of the finest players in NBL history and has been honoured as the league’s Best Defensive Player on multiple occasions. Damian also represented Australia in international competitions like the Commonwealth Games, where he won a gold medal in 2018. 

Damian wants these challenges to be more than what is being taught on the court, but also the life skills and the friendships that country basketball encompasses. 

Updates on information and further players may be added at a later date.

U13 Damian Martin Challenge – 12th January 2024 at Maitland Basketball Stadium.
Metro Under 13 Girls

Annie La Fleur Challenge

The Annie La Fleur Challenge, named in recognition of La Fleur’s outstanding achievements both on and off the court, aims to embody the values she has exemplified throughout her career: dedication, sportsmanship, and a commitment to giving back. 

Nicknamed ‘Flash,’ La Fleur played a pivotal role in putting Australian women’s basketball on the global map. Her journey began with a bronze at the 1989 FIBA U19 World Championships, setting the stage for Australian basketball success. With 127 senior-level games, she solidified the Opals’ global presence and contributed to their historic bronze in the 1998 World Championships and silver at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. 

In the domestic league, she won WNBL Championships with the Flames in 1993 and 1997, and later with the Sydney Panthers in 2000/01. She also had stints in the WNBA, playing for the Minnesota Lynx in 1999 and the Washington Mystics from 2001 to 2003. Since retiring, Annie has remained a strong ambassador for the sport, mentoring coaches and guiding young athletes in Australia and the Oceania region.

Updates and further information about the challenge will be released at a later date.

U13 Annie La Fleur Challenge –  25th January 2024 Quaycentre, Sydney Olympic Park.
Metro Under 13 Boys

Matthew Nielsen Challenge

The Matthew Nielsen Challenge is named after one of NSW’s favourite sons hailing from Penrith. 

Nielsen, a talented NSW junior began his journey as a U16 player at Penrith Panthers in 1993, and swiftly rose through the ranks. Representing NSW in the Under 16 Metro State Team in 1993 and Under 18s in 1994- he was even named Junior Player of the Year. In 1995, the Sydney Kings took him under their wing as a development player, setting the stage for his professional career. 

Matthew’s career highlights include a Gold Medal with the FIBA 1997 Under-21 Australian World Championship team and NBL Rookie of the Year in his debut season with the Sydney Kings. He clinched NBL Championships in 2003 and 2004, earning season MVP and Finals MVP honors in 2003 and the Australian International Player of the Year award. 

His international career featured captaining the Boomers in two Olympic Games, and he secured Gold Medals at prestigious tournaments. Matthew’s remarkable journey earned him a well-deserved place in the Sydney Kings’ 25th Anniversary Team and the King’s Wall of Legends in 2014.

Updates and further information about the challenge will be released at a later date.

U13 Matthew Nielsen Challenge – 24 January 2024 at Penrith Regional Basketball Stadium. 



80 players per challenge will be invited to attend and they will be allocated to one of our 6-8 teams.

Participants will be identified depending on Metro or Country from the following events: I AM A GIRL/ICLAD  Programs, Country Development Program, Metro Development Program, U12 Skills Days/U12 Hotshots,  Northern and Southern Jamboree.  

As we know lots of emails can be lost in the spam mailbox. Please check your spam mailbox, so you don’t miss out on the opportunity.

The identified participants are promising players who possess great potential for growth.


A GameDay receipt is always emailed once a transaction payment has been received. Always check your emails and spam email to confirm registration is complete.


All Participants receive the following:

  • 90 minute training session
  • Expert coaching
  • 2x sessions of simulated games
  • Challenge reversible singlet
  • Individual skills competitions
  • Lunch provided
  • Potential ticket offer to a Sydney Kings, Sydney Flames or Illawarra Hawks game

To accept your position for the event, we require parents to confirm payment and acceptance by the 14th of December.  Please Note: Active Kids Vouchers can be utilised, please make a note of this in your acceptance.


The Challenge concept is to help young talent players transition from U12’s basketball into U14’s to help develop skill and team concepts in-game settings and understanding of the game. 

These Challenges will offer an arena for athletes to exhibit their abilities and partake in spirited competition within a highly competitive and welcoming atmosphere.


BNSW has named the Challenges after former female and male Australian players who have come through the Basketball NSW pathways and went on to win gold medals on the international stage whilst representing Australia. 

BNSW identified a country female and male athlete (Suzy Batkovic OLY and Damien Martin OLY) and a Metropolitan female and male athlete (Annie La Fleur OLY and Matt Nielsen OLY). 


The I AM A GIRL “Heroes” is a program promoting athletes who have been successful at either the Olympic Games or World Championships as an Opal.


Yes. BNSW is on the lookout for interested coaches to assist at these day camps, click HERE to register your interest.

  • Drink bottle
  • Size 6 Spalding Basketball
  • Association or black basketball shorts
  • Sweat towel
  • Snacks



If you have any questions or concerns please email