I would like to congratulate the NBL and WNBL clubs for a great 2008/09 season and a stellar Finals series. We witnessed some fantastic competition and I commend the South Dragons and Canberra Capitals for their ultimate successes. The final game of the NBL drew a near-9000 strong crowd on a Friday night going head-to-head with the AFL pre-season Grand Final, an NRL season opener and a sold out rock concert in Melbourne next door to Hisense Arena. The WNBL Grand Final was played before a standing room only crowd of 4584 in Canberra, with the Capitalsï¿½ administration continuing to set the benchmark for game night presentation and local sponsorship and media relationships. This confirms the strength of Basketball and bodes well for the future of the sport under the reform agenda.
The Basketball Australia Board met on March 16. The Board has been pleased with the response to its EOI process for the new menï¿½s national championship. However for probity reasons we cannot disclose the exact details of the responses suffice to say we are satisfied with the level of response and believe we have the makings of a competitive and representative national competition that will be attractive to fans, sponsors, broadcast partners and the media. The Board also addressed among other matters the Boomers Head Coach position and we expect to announce the successful applicant early next week.
Preparations for the launch of our new Basketball Australia brand on Tuesday 7 April from 12:30pm to 2:30pm in Melbourne’s Federation Square are in full swing with a concurrent attempt to better the World Record for people dribbling basketballs simultaneously, which currently stands at 1,289 people. This is potentially a truly unique event that could garner a great deal of positivity for our sport. Your support is essential to its success. This event coincides with Basketball Managers Victoria Convention and Trade Show on 8-9 April headlined by retired Collingwood AFL Premiership Captain and former Victoria Metro State and Coburg Giants basketball representative player Tony Shaw.
In August 2008 the Federal Government appointed an Independent Expert Sport Panel to investigate and report on Australia’s sporting system encompassing both the elite and community levels as part of the Crawford Inquiry into Sport. BA prepared a submission and met with the panel earlier this year. Between 23 March and 1 May the panel will conduct a series of community sport public forums. Forums will be held in Darwin, Sydney, Albury/Wodonga, Hobart, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Albany, Dubbo and Coffs Harbour. We encourage you to participate in the public forums and to make a contribution to a report which is likely to make significant changes to the Australian sporting landscape. BA has also been invited again to meet with the panel, which it will do.
The schedule for the 2009 FIBA Oceania Championships was confirmed this week. The Opals squad for the 2009 program will be announced today ahead of a camp at the AIS in early April. The Opals must beat New Zealand in a two game series in September to qualify for the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women in the Czech Republic. Canberra will host the first leg of the women’s series against New Zealand on 2 September with the second game to be played on 5 September in Wellington. The Boomers will play New Zealand on 23 August in Australia and 25 August in Wellington.
20 March 2009