Basketball - Michael Steinhardt Men's Comets Team 1 Captain, Kiah Monk Comets Ladies and Chris Kraak Men's Comets Team 2 Captain.
Basketball - Michael Steinhardt Men's Comets Team 1 Captain, Kiah Monk Comets Ladies and Chris Kraak Men's Comets Team 2 Captain. LEEROY TODD

Comets to make Gympie basketball history

BASKETBALL: The Cooloola Comets have made Gympie basketball history by nominating three teams in the Suncoast Clippers Australia Day tournament later this month.

The Comets will send two men's teams, and for the first time a women's side to the competition, which is notorious for featuring some of the best basketball clubs in Queensland.

A 50 team contingent (the biggest in competition history) from around the state will converge on the Sunshine Coast next weekend in a bid to take out the silverware and while Gympie players are realistic about their chances, they are remaining optimistic about their ability of finishing up the ladder.

In her first Australia Day tournament, Comets player Kiah Monk (middle) said it was the opportunity to play outside of the region that had the women players excited.

"We played two tournaments last year in Hervey Bay and Toowoomba.

"We basically have the same group and we were able to match it with the best so I think we will go alright," she said.

Men's player Chris Kraak agreed and said his team was "quietly confident," but recognised the strength of some of their potential rivals.

"Any of the Sunshine Coast or Brisbane teams are pretty strong," he said.

However for Comets forward Michael Steinhardt (left), it has been his club's performance off the court that has impressed him the most.

"It is the most committed I have seen Gympie players in (terms of) the representative side of it," he said.

Kraak put it down to the calibre of players in the local system. "It is the people that we have playing at the moment," he said.

"They are all really keen on not just playing the local stuff, they all want to get out there and play high levels."