Brand name switch for basketball in Qld
BASKETBALL: In what is a massive boost for basketball in Queensland, the Queensland Basketball League is to become National Basketball League 1, or NBL North 1, as from season 2020.
And closer to home, the Gladstone Port City Power women and men sides will benefit from more exposure because of the brand name change.
NBL1 began this year and was run by Basketball Victoria and included teams from New South Wales, Tasmania and the ACT.
The NBL North 1 format is to establish more pathways toward a professional level for female and male players in Queensland.
“We are thrilled to accept the NBL’s proposal for the QBL to become a part of NBL1 in 2020 and beyond,” Basketball Queensland chief executive and secretary Graham Burns said on the NBL1 website.
“The QBL has always been regarded as one of the best state leagues in Australia and its status will only grow under the NBL banner.
“We believe we have arrived at a decision that is in the best interest of the sport, the league, its members and its fans.”
NBL chief operating officer Andy Crook said basketball at state league in Queensland would only prosper with more exposure.
“The agreement will see state league basketball in Queensland receive an unprecedented level of exposure including the live streaming of all games throughout the season,” Crook said.
With NBL and WNBL players such as Jason Cadee, AJ Ogilvy, Micaela Cocks and Abby Bishop having taken to the court this year, Crook said the aim was to develop more players so that they were ready to take the next step.
“We look forward to developing more NBL and WNBL players in Queensland,” he said.
“These are all things we achieved with NBL1 in 2019 and we anticipate similar levels of success for NBL1 in Queensland.”
Viewership will only increase with the inclusion of Queensland in 2020.
More than 108,000 fans attended the NBL1 games last season and the live-streamed matches attracted 284,000 viewers plus more than 1.6 million views on social media videos posted by NBL1.
The Gladstone Amateur Basketball Association will have a committee meeting on Friday afternoon to discuss what implications the name change will have.
It is understood the NBL North 1 season will be longer and the incentive for women and men championship-winning teams to play other title-winning teams from across the country.