Bright future for Holland

Mackai Holland will represent School Sport Victoria at the upcoming national basketball championships. 121895 Picture: GARY SISSONS


SPARE time is an abstract concept for Berwick’s Mackai Holland.
There isn’t much time to relax for the basketball combo guard – as he lines up for a plethora of different teams – but Holland is focused on making the most of his time on-court.
“I’m pretty much training every night except Friday nights when we play – weekends, training for the state team during the day and Sundays off and that’s about it,” Holland said.
“It’s pretty crazy but I love the pace of the game and just love being in a team and communicating (the plays).”
The hard work has earned him a place on the school state team for the upcoming national championships in Townsville from 16-23 August.
Holland was thrilled to see his training and development had proved rewarding.
“It was a good feeling – it was great to know all the training throughout the year had paid off really,” Holland said.
“I was stoked.”
It will be Holland’s third team to keep his schedule hectic for the rest of his season – as he’s captain for Dandenong Rangers in the under-18 boys and he also plays in Hallam Senior College’s basketball academy team.
While Victoria isn’t the tallest team in the mix, Holland believes its speed and ball-handling ability will guide it through to the finals of the tournament.
“We’re not too big but we’re fast and move the ball really well so we’ll see how we go and push for gold,” Holland said.
“New South Wales might be good, but obviously Queensland having the home town advantage will be good as well.”
Holland’s Dandenong team recently featured in the National Junior Classic, finishing third after beating Blackburn in the bronze medal match 66-62.
His basketball future looks bright as Holland wants to suit up in the Victorian Youth Championship (VYC) Rangers’ team and is making his way across to North America to play college ball.
“Currently training with D League SEABL (VYC) but haven’t played yet – it would be great to suit up for them,” Holland said.
“I’m definitely looking at college and next year I’m going to (Andrew) Bogut’s post grad program.
“Heading up there to train and hopefully I’m going to college too.”
Holland wanted to give thanks to his coaches Vashon Weaver, Ricky Baldwin, Mark Barker and Christopher Davies for their substantial time to help improve his game.