Thank you to all Australian basketball fans who came out to support the Boomers in their FIBA Oceania Championship triumph over the New Zealand Tall Blacks in Sydney on 23 August 2009. Unfortunately the team fell to the Tall Blacks in the return leg in Wellington but the Boomers have moved on to China with a young team performing extremely well at the Stankovic Cup in China going through undefeated to win the final against Turkey. While the loss to NZ was disappointing the series was tied at one win apiece and shows the strength of basketball in this region. It was an important opportunity to blood developing and emerging players in preparation for our big goal, the Boomers assault on the World Championships in 2010 and Olympics in 2012.
The Opals defeated the Chinese women’s national team 2-1 in a three game series in Canberra, Geelong and Dandenong last week. Despite some injuries and illness, the young Australian team won the first game in Canberra before narrowly falling in the second in Geelong. The Opals took the decider 95-88 in front of a sold-out Dandenong Basketball Stadium to win the series. Congratulations to the organising committees at each association for a fantastic effort in staging these events to such a professional standard. It is further demonstration of the passion and professionalism of our dedicated basketball community.
I invite you all to support the Australian Opals when they take on the New Zealand Tall Ferns in their all important world championship qualifier at the AIS Arena, Canberra on September 2; tickets are still available at Ticketek. Only the winner of the FIBA Oceania Championship will advance to the 2010 FIBA World Championship, making this a very important match and while the Opals recorded a great win in New Zealand on 31 August, the recent result shows that the Kiwis will play hard in the return game.
Congratulations to the Australian U17 men’s and women’s teams who both won the inaugural FIBA Oceania U17 Championship, earning a berth for the 2010 FIBA World Championships to be held in Germany (men) and France (women). Basketball Queensland is to be congratulated on staging a great event.
The eight National Basketball League teams are gearing up for the 2009/10 season tip-off on September 24, and will all participate in the official NBL pre-season tournament, the Top End Challenge, in Darwin from September 3 – 5. Continuing the positive momentum for the NBL, the broadcast schedule on Fox Sports for 2009/10 has also been unveiled and, in a massive boost for Australian basketball fans, there will be up to 51 games broadcast live on TV this season.
The NBL also recently welcomed on board OAMPS Insurance Brokers as a new long-term major sponsor. The three-year partnership demonstrates that the NBL’s renewed focus on reconnecting with basketball’s grass roots makes the league an attractive commercial proposition and reaffirms the importance of the ongoing reform process.
As the NBL and Women’s National Basketball League gear up for the 2009/10 season, the Men’s National Wheelchair Basketball League and Women’s NWBL are approaching their finals. The WNWBL final series will be held from Saturday September 5 – Sunday September 6 and the men’s from Friday September 11 – Sunday September 13 at Sydney University Sports and Aquatic Centre.
The Basketball Australia Board met on Sunday August 23 and reached a number of important outcomes including the census of all basketball associations that would ascertain the demographic and strength of basketball in Australia. The census date is August 31 2009, with data collected from 1 September 2008 – 31 August 2009 being collated to be submitted to BA by 30 September 2009.
The Board also announced the five strategic commissions that will assist in governing the sport;
Competitions, Associations, National Basketball League, Honours and Awards, and High Performance. These Commissions will be lead by a member of the Basketball Australia Board and will make strategic recommendations to BA. Nominations for positions on the three remaining Commissions (Associations, Honours and Awards and High Performance) will be called shortly.
I thank you for your continued support and encourage everyone in the basketball community to support our national teams and the respective leagues as their seasons get underway. The 2009/10 season promises to be a significant and successful one for the entire Basketball community.
1 September 2009