Big V back with a bang in 2016

The NBL and WNBL seasons have wrapped up for another year, and the winter months are setting in, which normally means Aussie hoops fans are starved of high-quality, exciting and accessible basketball as the various football codes take over.

However, as the state leagues start to get underway around the country, the fans need not wait until the Rio Olympics for their next dose of basketball goodness.

Credit: Photo Credit: Big V Media

The 2016 Big V season kicked off this past weekend in Victoria and it looks as though the league has followed in the footsteps of the NBL and dramatically improved across the board this year, perhaps even closing the gap between it and the much bigger and better SEABL competition that dominates the east coast through winter.

After a successful pre-season tournament, round one lived up to all the hype and season 2016 looms as one of the most exciting campaigns in recent history.

An influx of massive signings across all divisions has laid the platform, with a number of sides looking capable of taking out the championship in each division to ensure a tight and exciting season ahead.

New signings in the State Championship divisions for 2016 are young Aussie stars Dejan Vasilijevic and Greg Page (Diamond Valley), Dexter Kernich Drew and Matt Hodgson (Waverley), former NBL import Mike Rose (Knox), and WNBL foursome Shanae Greaves (McKinnon), Kate Oliver (Waverley), Mikayla Pirini (Diamond Valley) and Nicole Romeo (Warrandyte).

While State Championship Men and Women are the premier competitions in Big V, the big name signings certainly aren’t limited to those divisions in 2016.

Young NBL duo Chris Patton (Melton) and Nathan Sobey (Warrnambool) will be hitting the hardwood all season long in Division One Men, while retired NBL stalwart Adam Ballinger (Mornington) has signed on to play in Division Two Men.

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In perhaps the biggest coup of all, despite being a once-off appearance, Illawarra Hawks NBL star Tim Coenraad suited up for Division One Men’s side Melton in round one as cover for the Thoroughbreds’ import Ivan Harris.

The quality doesn’t stop there, however, with a number of less recognisable names also shaping up as potential superstars this year.

The likes of Brandon Polk (Knox – SCM), Paul McCoy (Waverley – SCM), Jeremy Smith (Werribee – SCM) Alex Sharp (Diamond Valley – SCW), Brittany Carter (Southern Peninsula – SCW), Reggie Fuller (Shepparton – D1M), Ishmael Sanders (Sunbury – D1M), Jordan Coleman (Latrobe City – D1M), Chelsea Burns (Sunbury – D1W), Manny Hendrix (Collingwood – D2M) and Justin King (Oakleigh – D2M), amongst many others, have already impressed and early indications are that they will make a big impact for their sides in 2016.

Of course, add these new names to the already established stars across the Big V who are once again returning, and the signings which are yet to be finalised, and it has the makings of a brilliant season at all levels.

While the individual quality is as good as it has been in a number of seasons, the evenness of almost every division only adds to the excitement being generated at this early stage of the campaign.

There can be genuine arguments made for up to six sides to win the State Championship Men’s title, while the State Championship Women’s competition is far from the two-horse race it has seemed to be in recent seasons.

Division One Men is perhaps the deepest and tightest league in the Big V, while Division One Women and Division Two Men and Women are all set to improve in quality and depth.

While the NBL and WNBL leave a large void to be filled over the winter break, the Big V is becoming an increasingly strong substitute, working alongside SEABL in Victoria and the SBL (Western Australia), QBL (Queensland), Premier League (South Australia), Waratah League (New South Wales) and BTAS SBL (Tasmania) to ensure basketball never takes a back seat.

For more information on your local Big V club’s fixtures, and to keep up to date with all news and information from around the league, head to www.bigv.com.au or click here.