The 2018-19 Hungry Jack’s NBL Season will be the biggest and best yet, according to Chief Executive Jeremy Loeliger.
Officially launching the NBL’s season in Sydney today, Loeliger said Australia was enjoying a “golden era for basketball”.
“A lot of people talk about the glory days of the ‘90s. And there’s no doubt it was a great era for the game in Australia,” he said.
“But this is truly a golden era for Australian basketball. And what is really exciting is that there is no limit to how far the game can go.
“We have so much to look forward to and in a few days from now the 41st NBL season will tip-off. It promises to be the biggest and the best yet.”
The NBL boss was joined at today’s launch by a host of NBL players as well as players from the WNBL as it prepares for its 38th season.
The NBL Season will tip off this Thursday when the New Zealand Breakers play Brisbane Bullets and Adelaide 36ers take on Perth Wildcats.
“Who would have thought when we took over the NBL just three years ago that we would become one of the premier basketball leagues in the world,” he said.
“Who would have dreamt that six NBL teams would have a chance to play in the NBA preseason. The same league that now features a record number of Australians.
“Who would have dared suggest that one of those players would now be Australia’s highest profile athlete. Not a cricketer, a golfer or a tennis player but a basketballer (Ben Simmons)
“Who would have predicted that Australia’s first ever NBA number one pick (Andrew Bogut) would one day return to play in the NBL. Yet we have achieved all this and more in the space of just a few short years.”
Loeliger said the standard of athletes, professionalism of the league and the quality of the product had never been better. “And fans are voting with their feet. Last season we enjoyed record attendances and broadcast audiences during the 40th season in what is Australia’s longest running national club competition,” he said.
“We’ve welcomed a new free to air broadcast partner in Nine who, together with Fox Sports, will provide unrivalled coverage of the game here in Australia and around the world.
“We’ve announced the establishment of a new team, South East Melbourne, and we’ve strengthened pathways to build on the burgeoning participation in the game across Australia.
“We’ve welcomed new corporate partners who want to share this exciting journey. Who know that together we have a chance to take the game to a new level and inspire generations to come.”
He said the NBL also enjoyed global credibility and players from all over the world were choosing to play in the league because they knew it was not only a strong league but also a genuine pathway to the NBA.
“Next year we will host two games against the USA men’s team in front of 100,000 fans in what will be the biggest basketball events ever staged in Australia,” he said.