Finding balance: On the UBL's growth and how it's facilitating player and coaching development opportunities
The 2023 UBL Finals took place this week at Narrandjeri Stadium. Here's a look at how far the league has come, and what lie ahead for continued growth.
Image Credit: Picture IT Sport Photography
Year three of the University Basketball League (UBL) has been one of the most competitive seasons ever. With youthful NBL1 talent, key role players and X-factors emerging from their local clubs, 13 Australian universities in both men’s and women’s competitions have come together in competition.
League CEO Mark Sinderberry noted that the UBL is the only student-based competition that’s supported by Basketball Australia. “It is fantastic that after the nine rounds of competition we had the top eight teams in Melbourne vying for a semi-final berth. Teams are not only playing for the title of 2023 UBL champions but also the opportunity to compete against the best universities from Taiwan in a three-game tour.”
Throughout the UBL season, students balance their academic programs together with a unique opportunity to represent their universities in a truly national competition. Many of the players are aspiring NBL1 players, but place huge value on the UBL environment and experience. “The players are now seeing the UBL as a genuine alternative to attending non-Division I US colleges, as well as not having to academically re-qualify once they return to Australia,” Sinderberry said.
That sentiment was shared by several coaches and players, when we spoke during the finals series that took place earlier this week about the opportunities provided by the league, and their collective exposure and experiences.
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