NBL's National Pro Combine boasts successful debut


The inaugural National Pro Combine organised by W Sports and Media, in conjunction with Australian and New Zealand Basketball Scouts which also had the tick of approval by the NBL has been lauded a success.

With over 50 players on display under the one roof at Melbourne's State Basketball Centre, all of them currently plying their trade across State Leagues all over the country, allowed NBL coaching staff and front offices an in-depth look into the talent pool throughout the nation.

A two-day event, players were asked to complete a variety of measurable tests to judge their athletic ability before leaving it all out on the court in an array of scrimmages.

A host of interested eyes peered on the crop of players, as the likes of Shane Heal, Lanard Copeland, Andrew Gaze, Joey Wright, Eric Cooks, Tommy Greer and Jamie O'Loughlin all deliberated upon the Phil Smyth run event.

Gaze told lead basketball journalist Boti Nagy, who was also in attendance that it is 'such a great concept' and to have the potential prospects all under the one roof is 'fabulous'.

Sixers head coach Joey Wright believes that this opening combine will set the standard for such future events.

'The drills and tests they will be doing will be in place for a number of years,' Wright told Nagy.

That will be a great aid in helping us judge players in the future against what has been set.'

Players scrimmaging at the 2016 NBL Pro Combine

In terms of the players who attended the combine, there seemed to be a large number of imports who made the most of the opportunity.

Despite NBL clubs only having three restricted roster spots, with recent history showing clubs specifically recruit for these positions, it seems unlikely that these players will progress into future NBL players.

The remainder of players however, were well spread in terms of age and playing ability. Scouts would have more than likely be looking at the younger talent pool, noting these players for future development player (DP) spots.

The Australian Combine branches out from the annual Worldwide Invitational Camp in Las Vegas, which has been well received by Australian coaches since attending. Adelaide head coach Joey Wright is also expected to attend this year's Camp.

With the debut event now done and dusted, the outcome of the NBL Combine will now sit on the clubs. If players from the event land professional contracts, the value of the event will significantly increase.