The WNBL's Dandenong Rangers will be under new ownership.
Gerry Ryan, founder and owner of South Dandenong's Jayco Australia, was granted the licence to run the Dandenong WNBL team. Ryan has a long association with basketball and support of women’s sport in Australia, including through Jayco Australia which has been the naming rights sponsor of the Dandenong WNBL team since 1997.
“Having been involved with the Dandenong Basketball Association for a long time this is something I am very passionate about, it is a natural progression, it is a personal investment, and we want to ensure it is a huge success for everyone,” Ryan said.
According to The Age's Roy Ward, it's believed that the team will continue to play at Dandenong Stadium, but will likely be rebranded.
It was also announced by the WNBL, that Cheryl Chambers has signed as the new head coach of the team. The Opals assistant coach and 3-time WNBL Coach of the Year will see the new team led by one of the most successful and respected coaches in Australian basketball.
“I am thrilled and excited to be part of an iconic Australian women’s basketball team, particularly as we commence what promises to be an exciting era for everyone involved. Having the opportunity to work within the new structure and with Gerry Ryan involved is certainly something I am looking forward to," Chambers said.
Basketball Australia’s newly appointed Head of Women in Basketball, Lauren Jackson was thrilled with the news.
“It is a wonderful endorsement of the Chemist Warehouse WNBL, a league which is entering an historic 40th season in 2019/20 and Gerry Ryan’s endorsement provides the team with a platform for success,” Jackson said.
The transfer of the licence of the WNBL team to Mr. Ryan will enable the Dandenong Basketball Association to focus on other domestic competitions and participation in what is a huge growth area for basketball in Victoria.
This latest investment in women’s sport is another personal investment for Gerry Ryan, separate to the major sponsorship of the team by Jayco Australia.