NZNBL growth plan sees more Australian teams preparing formal bids

Jalen Billups, Manawatu Jets v Southern Huskies, Sal's NBL, New Zealand national basketball league. Fly Palmy Arena, Palmerston North. 18 April 2019. © Copyright Image: William Booth / www.photosport.nz

The Australian presence could be rapidly growing next year, when it comes to New Zealand. The New Zealand NBL announced today, that six entities have expressed an interest in joining the competition in 2020 and are now preparing formal bids to be a part of the action.

Based on the league’s 2023 Growth Strategy, the optimum NZNBL competition will have between 10 and 12 teams, so the chance of increasing on the current nine teams in 2020 is likely.

It was previously discussed that another Australian team could join the NZNBL, and the league announced today that two of the six parties interested in joining the league are also from Australia.

“It’s early days, but it’s good to see so much interest in teams wanting to join the league.

“There’s plenty of work ahead of us, but so far so good. We have a basketball-loving community who want to be engaged with the elite level, they want to be entertained and they see spending two hours with us at a game as great family fun,” said Nelson.

Back in March, Southern Huskies managing director, Justin Hickey expressed optimism on success in the NZBL.

“The New Zealand NBL is a super strong competition and we are excited to be there.

“Aside from the level of quality basketball we are excited to be playing, the opportunities to showcase both Tasmania and New Zealand from a tourism perspective are tremendous,” Hickey added.

The Southern Huskies play this Saturday 4 May against the Wellington Saints, who are 4-0 so far. Wellington came away with a dominant 27-point victory in their last meeting. The Huskies will have forward Marcel Jones for the first time in this coming game, and the Saints will feature Australian Boomers forward Nick Kay in their starting lineup.

Game tips off at 7:00pm AEST (9:00pm NZ time).

Kein

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It's all about Banner 18. And our Aussies in the NBA. And selfless passes. And hard cuts. And defense. Andddd this is where I stop before I get too carried away. Really, it's all about this beautiful sport we know and love as basketball.

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