2023 was also historic for the Boys' Firsts Basketball Team, who won the APS premiership for the first time since 2010. This is only the fourth time since basketball was introduced by the APS in 1991 that the Wesley Boys' Firsts have won the title.
Wesley beat top-of-table Haileybury College 56-53 in the final match of the winter sport season to finish equal premiers. Wesley came into the game in second place on the APS ladder against Haileybury who were undefeated all season and had beaten our boys in their previous encounter.
The match was hotly contested, with the lead changing multiple times throughout the game. With just one minute to go, the scores were level. But Wesley held their nerve, sinking a free-throw with just three seconds left on the clock to upset the favourites by three points.
Team Captain, Noah, said ‘Winning the premiership was the accumulation of an entire season of hard work. After the match, I told the team how proud I was of all of them and thanked them for their hard work. I emphasised that our victory wasn't just about skill or talent, but about the heart and character we showed on the court. There were so many moments in the final where winning seemed to be slipping out of reach. Basketball isn’t about what has happened, it’s about what happens next and no matter the score, we trusted in each other and never backed down, fighting until the end.’
Former Olympian and current Head Coach of the Wesley Basketball program, Natalie Porter (OW1998) said, ‘It was a courageous effort by our boys. They dug deep in the last minutes of the game and stayed united until the end to get the win. Their performance, effort and team-spirit were nothing short of outstanding!’
Coach Peter Godfrey, in just his second season with Wesley Basketball, said ‘It was a privilege to coach this team. Belief is huge going into a game like that, both in the preparation phase and during the game as you ride the bumps. True to the ROAR values, we knew we had to seize the opportunity and dare to succeed. The players executed the plan brilliantly on the day and I’m so happy for them. It's an achievement that will stay with them for a very long time.'