Friday, June 22, 2018 | ePaper

Move over cricket, basketball has big plans in Australia

  • Print



Australia's "sleeping giant" National Basketball League launches its 40th season next month with ambitious plans of supplanting cricket as the sports-mad country's number one summer game.
NBL owner Larry Kestelman, who is looking to cash in on the record number of Australians starring in the NBA, said there had never been a better time for the sport.
"The sleeping giant of Australian sport is awake and we are coming. We want to be Australia's number one summer sport and one of the biggest sports in the country," he said at the season launch on Monday.
"We have an opportunity to take basketball in Australia to the next level. To inspire a new generation of fans of the game. A game for all Australians."
Kestelman said the recent announcement that three NBL teams-Sydney Kings, Melbourne United and Brisbane Bullets-would play in next month's NBA pre-season showed the Australian league was considered one of the best in the world.
Sydney will play Utah Jazz on October 2, Melbourne play Oklahoma City Thunder six days later and Brisbane take on Phoenix Suns on October 13 to coincide with the start of the NBL season.
"There are about one million Australians playing the sport, we have a record number of Australians playing in the NBA and strong national teams in the Boomers (men's) and the Opals (women's)," he said.
Among Australians starring in the NBA are Aron Baynes (Boston Celtics), Matt Dellavedova (Milwaukee Bucks), Dante Exum (Utah Jazz), Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz), Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs) and Ben Simmons (Philadelphia Sixers).
The NBL season tips off on October 5, when Adelaide 36ers playing Melbourne United.

More News For this Category

US athletics stars escape the routine at national meet

AFP, Chicago :Several American athletics stars will compete outside their feature events when the US Outdoor Track and Field Championships begin Thursday at Drake University Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.With

FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2017, file photo: Slovenia's Luka Doncic celebrates with the supporters at the end of their Eurobasket European Basketball Championship semifinal match against Spain, in Istanbul. Doncic is a possible pick in Thursday's NBA Draft.

FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2017, file photo: Slovenia's Luka Doncic celebrates with the supporters at the end of their Eurobasket European Basketball Championship semifinal match against Spain, in Istanbul. Doncic is a possible pick in Thursday's NBA Draft.

India's Sharma clears fitness test ahead of England tour

AFP, New Delhi :Top batsman Rohit Sharma cleared a fitness test Wednesday and will join India's tour of the United Kingdom, bringing relief to selectors after two others recently failed

Bangladesh Yoga Foundation emerge champions

Bangladesh Yoga Foundation emerge champions

Bangladesh Yoga Foundation clinched the 4th National Yoga title securing five gold medals in the championship that concluded at the National Sports Council gymnasium here on Thursday.Sirajganj DSA finished runners-up

Halep still out in front as Nottingham boosts Barty

AFP, Paris :Simona Halep retained top spot in the WTA rankings Monday buoyed by having ended her wait for a Grand Slam title at the French Open.Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark

Federer wins 98th ATP title in Stuttgart

Federer wins 98th ATP title in Stuttgart

AFP, Germany :Roger Federer claimed his 98th ATP title on Sunday with a 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) defeat of Milos Raonic in the grass-court Stuttgart Cup final.The Swiss great, who will

Migrants lead cricket charge in Sweden

AFP, Stockholm :Wooden bats and red balls are taking over Sweden's fields: cricket is booming in the Scandinavian country thanks to Afghan and Pakistani migrants who've found a way to

With second US Open title, Koepka can't be overlooked now

With second US Open title, Koepka can't be overlooked now

AFP, United States :Brooks Koepka was practically the last name on anyone's lips at the 118th US Open on Thursday - but that didn't matter when he hoisted the trophy

Koreas to form joint teams at Asian Games

North and South Korea agreed Monday to form unified teams for some sports at the upcoming Asian Games - a move which highlights the rapprochement on the peninsula that begin

Alvarez-Golovkin rematch back on for September

AFP, Los Angeles :Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin will square off in their highly-anticipated rematch on September 15 at T- Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, boxing promoter Oscar De La