THE Bendigo Basketball Association’s key focus amid revelations the SEABL is facing disbandment is on ensuring strong development pathways for its junior talent remains.
Basketball Australia is recommending SEABL teams, which include the Bendigo Braves men and women, compete in a new state-based competition that would culminate in an Australian Conference Championship to be played between the state winners.
“BA stated this transition would likely take place by 2020. Irrespective of the timeframe the Bendigo Basketball Association and Bendigo Stadium are committed to being a competitive powerhouse in a league that would be expected to be of the same high level as it is now,” the BBA said in a statement on Friday.
“The new league structure would sit above the current Big V competition and include all current Victorian-based SEABL clubs, with the possible inclusion of Tasmanian teams and Albury-Wodonga.
“It would also open the door for the upper echelon of Big V clubs to step up and enter the newly-evolved premier winter basketball competition.
“BBA’s main focus is to maintain the player pathways for our junior athletes and provide them with the opportunity to get exposure to the top level of competition in Australia.”
The Braves men’s team has been a member of the SEABL since 1985, while a women’s team first entered the competition in 1990 and after its grand final win last weekend Bendigo would be the last women’s champions if the pin is pulled on the long-running competition.
The Basketball Australia board will next meet on October 5 where it will further consider the options available.
Basketball Australia chief executive officer Anthony Moore said on Friday BA directors last Saturday considered a proposal from a group of SEABL clubs that had asked whether the governing body would support returning to a model where the league is managed by the clubs.
“Clubs were informed that the BA board did not support the proposal for a self-managed league,” Moore said.
“The clubs were also advised that in considering their proposal the BA board had asked for a review of the SEABL competition in the context of the Australian basketball pathway for athletes, coaches and officials, including our state leagues and our two national leagues in the NBL and WNBL.”
Meanwhile, tickets are on sale through Ticketek for next Thursday night’s NBL pre-season game between Melbourne United and the Sydney Kings at the Bendigo Stadium.
The game tips off at 7pm with tickets ranging from $12.25 to $76.50.
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