NZ franchise to join WNBL

NZ franchise to join WNBL

NZ franchise to join WNBL Basketball Australia is delighted to announce that Basketball New Zealand has been granted a licence to enter the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) for the 2007/08 season and beyond. The team will most probably be

NZ franchise to join WNBL

Basketball Australia is delighted to announce that Basketball New Zealand has been granted a licence to enter the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) for the 2007/08 season and beyond.

The team will most probably be named the Christchurch Wildcats and will be administered by the Canterbury Basketball Association in a move they hope will attract and retain more women to the sport.

The application is still to be formally ratified by FIBA Oceania, the sport’s governing body.

If approved by FIBA, 10 teams will contest the 2007/08 WNBL season starting in October, following the November 2006 announcement that a franchise from Bendigo (Victoria) was granted a license.

“Our application is robust and we hope this final approval is routine,” says BBNZ Chief Executive Bryn McGoldrick.

“It is an honour for basketball to be blazing this trail for women’s sport in New Zealand and we are confident that a Wildcats team built around the successful Tall Ferns program can be competitive.

The Christchurch Wildcats will become the first professional women’s team from New Zealand to contest an Australian league, following in the footsteps of male counterparts the Breakers (basketball), the Warriors (rugby league), the Knights (soccer), and the Stingrays (water polo).

“I’m happy to see the women’s competition expanding to 10 teams,” Basketball Australia Chief Executive Scott Derwin said.

“As far as I know it will be the first women’s sport that crosses the ditch for a regular trans-Tasman rivalry, which is fantastic.”

“We’re very excited with this development and look forward with great anticipation to next season with the two new teams competing.”

Basketball New Zealand is in the process of appointing a Tall Ferns (women’s senior team) head coach who will also work with the Wildcats through the WNBL season, with the hope that at least half the current national team will make up the Wildcats’ roster.


For further media information contact:
Bill Baxter, Basketball Australia: 02 9469 7218