In a first for Australian basketball, the National Basketball League (NBL) and Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) are joining together to kick start their 2012/13 seasons with a combined launch and pre-season tournament in Melbourne this month.
The joint NBL/WNBL tournament launch will tip-off at St Pauls Court, Federation Square in Melbourne at 12:00pm on Thursday 20 September.
Running from 20 – 23 September at Melbourne’s Dandenong Stadium, the pre-season tournament will bring together all eight NBL teams and all nine WNBL teams – the first time both leagues have ever had all of their teams in the one place, at the one time.
Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer Kristina Keneally said basketball was the first major professional sport in Australia to bring all of its teams together in a single venue for a pre-season tournament.
“The 2012/2013 combined NBL/WNBL pre-season tournament will be an entirely unique event in Australian sport,” Ms Keneally said.
“There’s no better time to demonstrate the strength of professional basketball in Australia than now – and no better way to do it than by showcasing the continuing growth of both our men’s and women’s leagues.
“Frankly, no other sport in Australia can boast the kind of growth in both a men's and a women's professional league in the way basketball can.
“Over the past three seasons, the NBL has increased its average regular season crowd every year – with a total growth of 20 per cent in crowds across the league since the 2009/10 season.
“In the WNBL, more than 81,000 fans attended games throughout the 2011/12 season – up 11.6 per cent on the previous year – culminating in the sell-out crowd at the WNBL Grand Final between Dandenong and Bulleen.
“Bringing together all of our elite domestic men’s and women’s athletes in a gathering of the basketball family will demonstrate our motto in action – basketball truly is everyone’s game.”
Dandenong Basketball Association Chief Executive Officer Graeme Allen said Dandenong was proud to host yet another world class basketball event.
“The combined NBL/WNBL pre-season tournament will give Dandenong locals and Victorian basketball fans alike the chance to experience world class basketball right in their backyard,” Mr Allen said.
“The Dandenong Basketball Association is home to over 800 domestic teams, including five national teams.
“Having the tournament at Dandenong Stadium allows us to bring Australia’s best to a hotbed of Victorian basketball and will undoubtedly help inspire our next generation of Boomers and Opals.”
Both the NBL and WNBL regular seasons commence on October 5.
Pre-Season Tournament information
Tickets for the pre-season tournament are now on sale through the Dandenong Basketball Association and can be booked by calling 03 9794 7192. For further information on ticketing, please visit www.dandenongbasketball.com.au
Each team will play three games during the course of the tournament – one preliminary match per day, followed by a graded final on the final day of competition.
NBL Game Schedule
The NBL tournament commences on Thursday, 20 September, concluding on Saturday, September 22.
17:30 Adelaide v Wollongong
17:30 Perth v Sydney
19:30 Melbourne v Cairns
19:30 New Zealand v Townsville
18:00 Adelaide v Sydney
18:00 Cairns v New Zealand
20:00 Melbourne v Perth
20:00 Wollongong v Townsville
16:00 8th v 7th
16:00 6th v 5th
18:00 4th v 3rd
20:00 1st v 2nd
WNBL Game Schedule
The WNBL tournament commences on Friday, September 21 and concludes on Sunday, September 23.
16:00 Bendigo v Townsville
18:00 Adelaide v China-B
18:00 Bulleen v West Coast
20:00 Sydney Uni v Logan
20:00 Dandenong v Canberra
16:00 Logan v West Coast
16:00 Townsville v China-B
18:00 Bulleen v Canberra
18:00 Bendigo v Sydney Uni
18:00 Dandenong v Adelaide
10:00 9th v 10th
10:00 7th v 8th
10:00 5th v 6th
12:00 3rd v 4th
12:00 1st v 2nd
***Note: China-B has been invited by Basketball Australia to participate in the pre-season tournament only