Mr Derwin said: “It is with much sadness that I today announce the resignation of Kristina Keneally. The Board of BA gave Kristina up to 6 months unpaid compassionate leave from 1 January 2014 to deal with some personal circumstances.
“Kristina and I have been in regular contact since she commenced this leave. We met again recently when she informed me with great sadness that those personal circumstances would not allow her to return to her role and tendered her resignation.
“The Board of BA understands and sadly supports her decision as being the right one for her at this time. We are immensely grateful for the enormous contribution Kristina has made to BA during her tenure.
“The year 2013 was an extremely difficult one with the de-merger of the NBL; the Australian Sports Commission’s introduction of Mandatory Governance Principles and the implementation of Australia’s Winning Edge strategy, among many other things.
“Very few CEOs would have been able to handle all these matters with such determination, fairness and professionalism as Kristina did. We will always be grateful.”
Ms Keneally commenced as CEO in August 2012, having previously served as Chair of the Basketball Australia Board since December 2011.
Ms Keneally said she loved her job leading one of Australia’s most popular participation sports and one of the world’s most successful basketball federations.
“All of the staff at Basketball Australia can be rightly proud of significant strides we have made over the past two and half years, both in terms of sports high performance and commercial success,” Ms Keneally said.
“In a time of tremendous change and challenge for Australian sport, Basketball Australia has delivered grass-roots participation growth, Olympic and Paralympic medals, new commercial sponsorship for the Opals and the WNBL, and expanded free to air national television coverage for the WNBL, Boomers, and Opals.
“BA has also transformed how high performance development is delivered for all four national team programs – the Boomers, Opals, Rollers and Gliders – with four full-time national team head coaches and the new Basketball Australia National Centres of Excellence.”
Ms Keneally acknowledged that her personal circumstances had changed significantly since taking on the role of CEO, and that it was no longer possible for her to continue.
“The Board of BA has been incredibly supportive and generous these past three months in regards to my personal circumstances, and I appreciate it greatly,” Ms Keneally said.
“I would have loved to have continued in the role, but the reality is that the demands of the job – particularly the travel demands – are not compatible with my changed family circumstances. It is with much sadness that I resign, but at a personal level, this is the right decision.”
Ms Keneally acknowledged the Board of Basketball Australia for their support, advice and commitment to the sport.
“I thank the outgoing Board for their generous commitment of their time and talents to the sport. I particularly acknowledge and thank Chair Scott Derwin, who works with dedication and professionalism to grow and develop basketball’s success on and off court. I am grateful to have had his counsel and support,” Ms Keneally said.
“I also thank the staff of BA – who develop some of the best basketball talent in the world and oversee one of the biggest team participation sports in the country with less people and resources than a single AFL or NRL Club.
“The people who work at BA are its heart and soul and deserve to share the glory when our teams stand on the podiums around the world, winning medals for Australia.
“I now look forward to joining with all Australians as we cheer on the Opals, Boomers, Rollers and Gliders as all four teams compete in their respective World Championships later this year.”
Mr Derwin said the search for a new CEO will commence immediately.