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Following a thrilling 140 games across the country in 2024, the New Balance University Basketball League wrapped up on a high with The University of Sydney women and La Trobe University men winning their respective Grand Finals.  


UBL Women’s Grand Final: The University of Sydney (81) def La Trobe University (62) 

After a dominating season, The University of Sydney (USYD) took to the court for their third Grand Final in as many years hoping to make the most of their hometown advantage. While La Trobe University (LTU) brought their best efforts, USYD were quick to get points on the board early.  


Alexandra Kayrouz (14 pts) lead the scoring, closely followed by teammates Caitlyn Martin (13 pts) and Holly Willis (13 pts), extending the lead out to more than 20 points going into the second half.  


Despite the hard work from LTU’s Anna Burrows (19 pts) and Hayley Sparks (11 pts), they were unable to completely close the gap and USYD ran away with the 19 point victory.  


Grateful for the experience of playing under high profile Head Coach Renae Garlepp, first-year student-athlete Caitlyn Martin said she was excited to have won her first UBL season and was proud of the positive impact sport participation had on her first semester of university. 


“I feel as though it made my university experience more enjoyable.” Martin said post game.  


“I met new people and got to do a bit of travelling throughout the season which was good fun. I play basketball outside of uni and I love it. I thought playing UBL would be a bit of fun and (the league) would be good as a different environment to what I’m used to playing in.” 


Reflecting on her journey, and possibilities of next season, she would encourage anyone to get involved, adding to the hopes of The University of Sydney going back-to-back champions next year. 


“If someone asked me if they should play, ⁠I would say absolutely do it! You get to meet some great people and just have a good time all while playing sport and staying active.” Said Martin. 


UBL Men’s Grand Final: La Trobe University (104) def The University of Sydney (90) 

Flipping the match up, La Trobe University (LTU) Men found themselves in their first ever Grand Final appearance, hosting The University of Sydney (USYD) Men. Despite being the less experienceds squad on paper, LTU brought their a-game, taking an early lead in the match.  


Led by impressive scoring from Nick Day and Lachlan Vander Vorm with 26 points each, it was a close battle right to the final buzzer. USYD weren’t going to let the title go without a fight, managing to close a 17 gap in the second half thanks to a total of 44 points from Robbie Moore (21) and Matthew Wacher (23) between them. The lead changed 7 times before LTU secured the victory. 


After the thrilling victory, LTU captain Will Moio felt it was the perfect reward to an incredible season by securing the team’s first championship. 


“It’s a terrific feeling to win a UBL grand final, and especially after we feel like we’ve been building for the last couple seasons so to get it done is incredible.” Moio said.  


“They certainly came hard in the third quarter, and we knew they were going to as they (USYD) are a very high-quality team. It was great to see how we kept battling away and managed to grind out a victory, unbelievable feeling!” 


Sharing the perspective of many of his teammates and even competitors across the league, Moio’s university experience has been nothing but positive being involved in university sport, the UBL providing a fantastic source of fun and development as a student-athlete. 


“UBL has been great for my uni experience, I’ve met some amazing people that I’ll be able to call lifelong friends.” Moio confirmed.   


“I’ve had heaps of fun playing and competing in a sport I love whilst getting an education at the University level.  


“Everyone gets involved as much as possible and really buy in to it, it’s made my learning so much more enjoyable and helped me though my degrees. 


“I’ve now made some memories that I can look fondly upon forever and University Sport has given that to me!” 


The league saw huge growth and a record-breaking season in 2024 with 14 universities involved in both the men’s and women’s competitions across Australia through the 12-week competition.  


The New Balance University Basketball League will return next year. 





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