By Cam Lucadou-Wells

 Earn or learn.
That’s the advice being given to Red Roo’s irrepressible team of basketballers about to hit Casey Stadium this weekend.
Coach and director James Kerr instills a work ethic to the young men who have won a swag of national titles.
He implores his charges to enrol in study or work a job. And he’s urging his older players get their driving licences and gain independence.
“You’ve got to get to work or actively look for work. That’s part of being on the team.”
He has personally invested his time and resources into the team based at HOOPS 24/7 Dandenong over the past four years.
Now he’s helping some players find that valuable foot-in-the-door to their first job.
He tells them to be leaders and help turn around the “negative press” surrounding the South Sudanese community.
“It’s part of your community. You’ve got to say it cannot be tolerated – you can put a stop to it and help to do it on the basketball court.”
In the meantime, the club has grown to 50 players spanning five teams – Under 16s to Open Mens. They’re a tight-knit and successful team.
At the recent South Sudanese Australian National Basketball Association titles, the Under 20s team won Red Roo yet another trophy.
The Under 18s came runners-up.
Mr Kerr said his program – and its success – could be replicated and expanded across Melbourne as a cost-effective way of engaging young men.
Despite making overtures to Victoria Police and Greater Dandenong Council, Mr Kerr has been unable to get their support.
“With all the money that the Government has spent trying to tackle anti-social behaviour, what has it solved?”
Mr Kerr said there was demand for Red Roo to start an Under 14s team but for a lack of available courts.
His dream is for the team – with the support of benefactors – is to give the players the best opportunity.
“There are a lot of players who want to play basketball but can’t get into the mainstream system. It’s the registration, uniform and transport costs.
“Parents don’t have the resources. You know what it costs to live in Melbourne!”
Red Roo plays Casey Cavaliers in Under 16s and Under 18s games at Casey Stadium, 65 Berwick-Cranbourne Road, Cranbourne on Sunday, 18 February from 2pm.

Comments are closed.

Your first stop before buying a home. View the whole picture.

More News

Melbourne’s historic yellow and green trams could be coming to the City of Casey. The retired trams – ...

Casey bird lovers will be flocking to this year’s Skye bird Sale and Expo on Sunday 27 May. Now ...

A delivery truck driver struck a domestic gas meter along a service lane on South Gippsland Highway on Friday 18, May, ...

Free plants, coffee, and a smoothie if you’re willing to pedal for it are up for grabs at ...

St. Peter’s College students had the opportunity to hone their soccer skills with former Australian goalkeeper, Clint Bolton ...

A Cranbourne North man allegedly caught speeding through red lights on South Gippsland Highway in Cranbourne last month was arrested ...

Latest Sport

Cranbourne North teen sensation Keenan O’Hanlon is small in stature, but he has the heart of a lion ...

SOUTH EAST FOOTBALL NETBALL LEAGUE REVIEW – ROUND 3 (SPLIT ROUND) With the game well and truly on the line midway through ...

All athletes need purpose, something that drives them to push themselves in the face of adversity and challenges. For Cranbourne ...