Basketball Australia National Centre of Excellence team to compete in 2014 SEABL season

Basketball Australia National Centre of Excellence team to compete in 2014 SEABL season

The Basketball Australia National Centre of Excellence (CoE) will enter men’s and women’s teams into the SEABL for the upcoming 2014 season.

In a major development for the CoE, scholarship athletes will form the two teams that will compete in the SEABL competition in a truncated capacity, working around national team program commitments.

Basketball Australia General Manager of High Performance, Steven Icke said the opportunity to participate in a competition of the quality of the SEABL will play a significant role in player development.

“With Basketball Australia taking carriage of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) basketball program at the Centre of Excellence in Canberra, we have been able to play a larger role in the direction of our elite junior development programs,” Icke said.

“Participation in the SEABL competition was identified as an element of the new program that would help accelerate athlete development.

“The teams will get the crucial experience of playing in a national competition against senior opposition, in addition to experiencing the travel and time demands of life in league competition.”

The two CoE teams will play a reduced SEABL schedule, with wins and losses accrued during the season not counting towards playoff qualification. These results will be recorded, and the teams will occupy a position on their conference ladders, but cannot participate in playoffs.

The AIS program has previously fielded teams in league competition, with the women’s program participating in the WNBL from 1981 to 2012, winning the 1999 WNBL Championship led by Jayco Australian Opals stars Lauren Jackson and Penny Taylor.

From 1982 to 2010 the AIS men’s program participated in the SEABL, with a host of current day Australian Boomers stars getting their break in the SEABL, including Patty Mills and Andrew Bogut.

The teams will be coached by the respective CoE Associate Coaches to the men’s and women’s national team programs.

Full fixture details will be released by the SEABL ahead of the 2014 season.