Lee Duffield

Edited by Lee Duffield
Freedom and Truth

Brisbane shoots for 2010 NBL season

The basketball is in Brisbane's court: stockxchng

The basketball is in Brisbane's court: stockxchng

Forced to spend 2009 on the sidelines, Brisbane looks set to rejoin the National Basketball League in the 2010 season – if Basketball Australia gets its way.

Basketball Australia CEO and former Brisbane Bullets star Larry Sengstock says that the NBL is eager to welcome Brisbane back into the competition, with the Gold Coast Blaze currently the only presence in the once dominant south-east corner.

According to Mr Sengstock, the league needs teams based in Australia’s major markets if it wants any chance of moving forward.

“That’s one of our goals right now for the 2010 season; to have a team in Brisbane and a team in Sydney and possibly another team coming out of Melbourne, as that’s our strongest basketball support base,” Mr Sengstock said.

“We make no bones about the fact that [Brisbane] is a big market for basketball and it was a big market for basketball.”

Brisbane’s side was forced to fold after its owner Eddy Groves struck financial difficulty with his ABC Learning business interests.

It was the first of many financial blows to the league.

Fans like Tim Stevens believed it would bring an end to Australia’s original national sports league.

“At one stage we thought it was over,” he said.

“I’ve grown up watching players like [Andrew] Gaze in the NBL and it hit home that there may not be players like that, heroes, coming through a national league again.”

But Mr Sengstock is eager to squash concerns the league is in trouble.

“People go, ‘well basketball, it’s in trouble,’ when in fact it’s not in trouble,” he said.

It is hoped a decision on a Brisbane side would be made by the end of the 2009/10 season.