Good News! Basketball Local Competitions Return.

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For some time now, all local sporting competitions have been restricted due to Covid-19 and the lockdown precautions now applied. However today Basketball Australia has set out the ground rules for the return of Community Basketball post lockdown.

Community basketball due to resume under set guidelines

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No side-by-side games, constant hand sanitising and as few supporters as possible are among the suggested practices for the return of community basketball.

Basketball Australia will release its ‘Return to Basketball’ guidelines on Wednesday and the information will inform what each state and local association do when trying to put thousands of local basketballers back on court.

Federal and state regulations will still dictate when indoor sports can start again, this is why there is no resumption date listed, but the guidelines do paint a picture for how community basketball will look.

The guidelines make it clear that in smaller stadiums only some courts will able to be used and a strict stadium capacity be maintained at all venues.

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All state and territory bodies worked with Basketball Australia on the guidelines, which were based on the federal government’s national principles for the resumption of sport and the Australian Institute of Sport framework for re-booting sport.

AIS chief medical officer Dr David Hughes and Basketball Australia chief medical officer Dr Peter Harcourt offered their expert advice for the guidelines.

“We can all see how we are adapting quickly at the local level and we imagine it will be the same for basketball,” BA chief executive Jerril Rechter said.

“The way people walk into the venue, the way they leave the venue, the way they need to be on court and the practices we need to put in place will become natural and our basketball sector is ready to show we have done a huge [amount] of work for the rebound of the sport.”

For junior basketball the guidelines suggest a small number of parents can watch and only from a separated, socially distanced location like an upper grandstand. There will need to be distance between each active court.

Players will be advised to not arrive more than 10 minutes before their game while stadiums will be asked to have separate entry and exit points plus extra time between games to allow players to leave and new teams to enter.

Balls will need to be sanitised and changed each game while all unnecessary contact including “high fives” will be outlawed.

Stadiums will also need their own penalties for teams or people who do not follow the rules.

Players and referees will also be asked to wash with soap and water at home pre-game and be changed into their playing gear before arrival.

Opening jump balls will likely be replaced with “rock, paper, scissors” for the first possession.

Rechter said people were adapting in everyday life and would do so at local basketball.

“People are quite buoyant about the fact junior basketball will be able to return,” Rechter said.

“There are different ways we will need to think about junior basketball but a lot of the facilities have that capacity where parents and guardians can be removed [seated at a distance] and can still [have] oversight of their kids.”

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Source: smh.com.au

It’s exciting to contemplate returning to ‘tread the boards’ in the not too distant future. But the question for many who operate stadiums and courts is ‘will we be ready?’

Call Nellakir now for a free no-obligation quote on all aspects of Timber Sports Flooring maintenance and preparation. Nellakir are Victoria’s leading experts in the installation and maintenance of all Sprung Timber Sports Flooring. Nellakir use ASF/Horner Sports Flooring systems exclusively which carry the FIBA international competition approval. Re-coating, re-marking (lines, logos) and if required re-sanding as well as a specific professional scheduled cleaning process – you can trust Nellakir to provide a premium playing surface for all returning competitors – from Junior League through to NBL competition.

Call Nellakir now on 03 9467 6126 for a free, no-obligation consultation with our expert technicians, or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

Resumption of Play? Finish the Season? (NBA) or Start the Pre-Season? (NBL)

Right now, the pressure is ramping up both in the USA with the NBA and here with the NBL for teams to get on the boards and resume hostilities. In Australia, the pre-season for the NBL would normally commence in mid to late June. In the US, the NBA must complete the current season.

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In the US, the situation looks muddled. Lockdown just hasn’t been as effective as in other places, a very high infection and mortality rate being the result. There is a fair bit of white noise emanating from various sectors of the game and its commentators, however many states are still in severe lockdown and are unlikely to approve any such activities in sport or public gatherings.

From the Bleacher Report…

LeBron, Giannis, Steph Curry, More Stars in Favour of NBA Resuming Season

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LeBron James and the biggest stars in the NBA have reportedly “formed a united front to resume the 2019-20 season,” which has been on hiatus because of the coronavirus, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

NBPA President and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul arranged a private conference call Monday that reportedly included James, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday the NBPA was polling players about whether they wanted the season to continue.

The players’ association denied the report and said it “has not authorized any formal poll of its players,” per Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic.

The league has been patient about a potential return, with Commissioner Adam Silver reportedly saying a decision didn’t need to be made in May, per Wojnarowski.

Teams were allowed to reopen facilities last week, though some organizations must remain closed for at least several more weeks based on local restrictions.

Some team executives and agents have reportedly called for the NBA to cancel the remainder of the season, according to Jabari Young of CNBC.

However, there is at least some support among players to return and determine a champion.

The stars on the call carry a lot of weight with 71 combined All-Star appearances and nine MVP awards among the nine players Hayes listed.

Though James and Antetokounmpo would have a lot to gain with a return—the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks would be expected to contend for the title—that’s not the case with all the others. Curry and Lillard are on teams that would not currently land in the playoff field, while Durant hasn’t played all season while recovering from an Achilles injury.

As Haynes noted, a canceled season could have lasting effects regarding the collective bargaining agreement.

This group of high-profile players could help push the league toward a restart.

Source: bleacherreport.com

Here in Australia, there is some likelihood of a return to the courts for the NBL on time. However, it’s likely to see televised games only with no public attendance permitted.

From the NBL…

NBL Looks at Start Date for 2020/21 Season

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The NBL has commenced work on identifying a start date for the 2020-21 Hungry Jack’s NBL Season as it works with the clubs and other key stakeholders for the return of basketball in Australia.

NBL Owner and Executive Chairman Larry Kestelman said: “It’s very pleasing to see Australia leading the way when it comes to bringing COVID-19 under control and hopefully we are all going to return to some sort of more normal life over the coming weeks and months.

“We are also encouraged by the progress other professional sporting leagues are making as they seek to return and we will monitor them and work with the relevant health authorities and government as we look to bring basketball back.

“We are also talking with the clubs about plans for next season including identifying a start date. We also want to do everything we can to be able to accommodate fans at games even if it means ramping up attendances as the season progresses.

“We are taking a positive and proactive approach and will continue to assess options and hope to be in a position by mid-year to be able to confirm plans for the coming season.

“We believe the NBL will remain a highly attractive option for players from both Australia and New Zealand and around the world should borders be re-opened. The NBL is one of the best leagues in the world outside of the NBA and Australia will without doubt be one of the safest places in the world to play in.

“We respect the rights of players to test the market. The agreement with the Australian Basketball Players’ Association was done by the NBL on behalf of the clubs who were unanimous in their support of the players and wanted to avoid stand downs as they managed the impact of the virus.

“Those players who choose to explore their options can still opt back in to their NBL contracts and we believe there will be a number who do so as the situation in regards to COVID-19 and its impact on various basketball leagues around the world becomes clearer.

“We are very encouraged by the large number of players who have indicated their desire to play in the NBL and we have no doubt the league will remain of a very high standard, attracting top players and enjoyed by fans across Australia, New Zealand and the rest of the world.”

Source: nbl.com.au

The prolonged ban on local sporting competitions and public attendance has seen many stadiums opt for overdue maintenance and repairs to Timber Sports Flooring ensuring premium performance on the return to competition.

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Nellakir are the leading experts in Sprung Timber Sports Flooring here in Victoria and in Tasmania as well. For all maintenance, refurbishment and installation enquiries on Timber Sports Flooring, please don’t hesitate to call us on 03 9467 6126, or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

Task Force to Tackle the Impact of Covid-19 on Australian Basketball Competition

From the NBL website…

Australian Basketball Unites to Tackle Impact of COVID-19

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Australia’s basketball community has established a taskforce to tackle the challenges from grassroots to elite competitions caused by the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

Basketball Australia, States and Territories, NBL, WNBL, NBL1, clubs and players have come together to build a comprehensive plan to restart the sport when the threat of COVID-19 eases.

The taskforce will be led by Basketball Australia Chair Ned Coten and the Owner and Executive Chairman of the NBL Larry Kestelman and include prominent members of the basketball and business communities.

Allan Yates, Nicola Ellis, Tony Hallam, Jacob Holmes, Brian Delaney and Jerril Rechter will represent basketball and they will be joined by independent business figures Ruffy Geminder, Diane Smith-Gander and Rickard Gardell.

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Chair of Basketball Australia Ned Coten said: “We are very mindful of the millions of Australians doing it tough and, quite rightly, they are the number one priority support right now, particularly those who have lost their jobs and are suffering financial hardship.

“Basketball is not immune to the impact of the COVID-19 and, like the rest of the community, we need to do everything we can to get through these challenging times but also work together to restart the sport when the time is right.

“Basketball is one of Australia’s highest participation sports with over 1.5 million active participants. It is the number one family sport, is incredibly inclusive and diverse and is a source of enjoyment across all levels of the community. Importantly, 38% of our participants are female and we have two of the leading men’s and women’s leagues in the world in the NBL and WNBL.

“The game employs tens of thousands of people across the country and generates significant economic impact as well as a range of health and social benefits for the wider community across both genders and all ages that will be needed more than ever as we recover.”

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The Owner and Executive Chairman of the NBL Larry Kestelman said: “Unlike other sports, basketball leagues do not derive the bulk of their revenue from broadcast agreements. With a significant amount of Australian homes now having a basketball hoop in the backyard, the sport can play a crucial role in getting the country active and back to normal, but we need help more than ever.

“Under the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, the sport has come to standstill for now. This includes not just the NBL and WNBL but also Australia’s premier winter league NBL1, the 3x3Hustle and all community and grassroots leagues right around the country.

“The NBL attracted almost one million people last season and is now widely considered the second-best domestic basketball league in the world after the NBA. We are an entertainment product built for live attendances.

“Unlike other codes, basketball cannot fall back on revenue from television if restrictions are still in place to crowds and would need assistance. We are not seeking special priority but rather simply asking not to be forgotten to ensure we can continue to deliver the sport that we and so many Australians love.”

The taskforce will consult with all areas of the sport to develop the recovery program for Australian basketball.

Source: nbl.com.au

During the current lockdown, Nellakir have continued to provide Construction, Installation and Maintenance services to some of our better known public stadiums, private and public schools, community recreation venues and a range of other facilities that feature high quality Sprung Timber Flooring such as Theatres, Churches and Dance Floors.

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Call Nellakir now on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply. Book a time to speak to one of our trained technicians on your requirements and arrange a free, no-obligation quotation at your convenience.

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The National Basketball League Australia Game One goes to South East Melbourne Phoenix over Melbourne United

A great start to the NBL season with its latest franchise addition being a first round winner.

The 2019-20 NBL season is the 42nd season since the League’s inception in 1979. The addition of South East Melbourne Phoenix sees nine teams contesting the championship. The regular season is played between October 2019 and February 2020. This is followed by a post season playoff featuring the top 4 teams in March 2020.

This year the series will be televised, Free to Air, via SBS Viceland, in the first year of a two year deal. Streaming of all 126 games will be available live and free on streaming platforms such as SBS on Demand. ESPN will also broadcast 59 games including all games after 7.30 pm AEDT. Further details are below.

Read all about the South East Melbourne Phoenix vs Melbourne United game here:

Phoenix Open #NBL20 with Throwdown Triumph

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South East Melbourne Phoenix have risen to victory in their first game in the NBL with the league’s newest franchise scoring a 91-88 win over Melbourne United in their first ever ‘Throwdown’ at Melbourne Arena on Thursday night.

The cross-town rivals locked horns to open the 2019/20 season and with a sold out crowd in attendance to show how hungry Melbourne is to have rival NBL teams battling again, it was a game that went down to the wire.

The stars weren’t quite all there with Casey Prather and David Barlow missing for Melbourne while Tai Wesley hurt his hamstring for the Phoenix in the first quarter joining Adam Gibson and Terry Armstrong sidelined.

But those on the floor delivered and none more so than South East Melbourne superstar Mitch Creek.

Just back from two stints in the NBA, the Phoenix franchise player was a man-possessed stepping up with 28 points and 11 rebounds to cover for the early injury to Wesley.

The power forward scored their first NBL points, but went down with a flare up of his hamstring injury five minutes into the game.

Melbourne United were down nine heading into the last term but fought back at the finish as Chris Goulding nailed some crucial buckets including a lay-up to tie the game 84-84 with a minute to play.

But Creek stood tall nailing a three on the next play and as gallant as Melbourne were, they couldn’t outlast the Phoenix.

Melo Trimble attempted a three from the top of the key to force overtime in the final seconds but his shot missed. Shawn Long put it back in and, after being fouled by Kyle Adnam, nailed two key free throws with 0.6 seconds to play assuring his club of its inaugural win.

Goulding had 27 points while Long was a force in the second half with 26 points and 12 rebounds while import guard John Roberson finished with a classy 20 points for the Phoenix.

Phoenix coach Simon Mitchell praised his players for their gritty display.

“We weren’t the most composed team down the stretch but I thought we played our asses off,” Mitchell said.

“I thought we were tremendously gritty. I thought in a short time these guys have been able to establish a real pride in their uniform and what we are doing in the south-east.

“While we weren’t great, anyone who is thinking about following us is going to see what we are about from tonight’s game. Hopefully we will be a little cool under pressure next game.”

United coach Dean Vickerman said his side made too many errors and started too slowly.

“We were a step behind with how we came out and the offensive rebounds and second chance points they got early on,” Vickerman said.

“We didn’t really push the pace. Part of it was getting to your spacing and we made so many errors to get started and that disrupted a lot of our offence.

“We got four points outside of our main guys so we needed more people to step up as we had three guys out [injured]. But give credit to Mitch Creek. The two threes he made down the stretch were extremely tough, that’s why you pay a marquee guy like that.”

Melbourne plays Perth Wildcats at RAC Arena on Saturday in a Grand Final rematch before then embarking on their United States trip for games against the LA Clippers and Sacramento Kings.

The Phoenix rest until Round 2 when they host Brisbane Bullets at Melbourne Arena next Sunday afternoon.

NBL ROUND 1
MELBOURNE UNITED 88 (Goulding 27, Long 26, Trimble 16)
SOUTH EAST MELBOURNE PHOENIX 91 (Creek 28, Roberson 20, Adnam 11)

Source: nbl.com.au

How to Watch Round 1 of NBL20

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Hungry Jack’s NBL20 tips off on Thursday, October 3 and there are no shortage of viewing options as we begin one of our biggest seasons to date!

With new TV broadcast partners SBS VICELAND and ESPN on board, you can tune in there with games before 7:30pm AEST on SBS VICELAND, and games after 7:30pm AEST on ESPN.

For the digital viewer, you can catch every game live on SBS on Demand as well as NBL TV which also boast a selection of NBL Classics and other featured content including Condensed Games, giving you everything you need from the game in 10 minutes.

One game every round will be broadcast live on Facebook Watch, with Round featuring Melbourne United and South East Melbourne Phoenix in The Throwdown to open the season.

Thursday October 3
Melbourne United v South East Melbourne Phoenix – Melbourne Arena, 7:30pm AEST
ESPN, SBS on Demand, Facebook Watch, NBL TV

Friday October 4
Cairns Taipans v Sydney Kings – Cairns Convention Centre, 7:30pm AEST
ESPN, SBS on Demand, NBL TV

Saturday October 5
Perth Wildcats v Melbourne United – RAC Arena, 5:30pm AEST
SBS VICELAND (Channel 31), SBS on Demand, NBL TV

Sunday October 6
Illawarra Hawks v Brisbane Bullets – WIN Entertainment Centre, 3:00pm AEDT
SBS VICELAND (Channel 31), SBS on Demand, NBL TV

Source: nbl.com.au

The Australian competition is now a genuine stepping stone to the world’s leading Basketball Competition, the NBA.

Nellakir are proud to support and assist basketball in this country. As the leading experts in the provision of genuine sprung timber sports flooring, Nellakir utilise the ASF/Horner sports flooring systems here in Victoria and Tasmania. As such Nellakir have constructed many of Victoria’s premier Basketball and Netball Stadium court surfaces. The company is also the leading provider of expert maintenance and scheduled cleaning services, ensuring your premium Timber Flooring is presented at its very best on all occasions. Proper care and maintenance also prolongs the life of the flooring and ultimately saves time and money for all stadium operators.

Call now on 03 9467 6126 for a free consultation or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

Whether it’s a local junior competition or the State Basketball Centre at Wantirna, it’s a joy to play on Timber Flooring from Nellakir.

Nellakir – The Sports Flooring for Champions.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

Melbourne gets second NBL team, to be based in south east

As reported last week, the Victorian State government is offering a huge boost to the sport of Basketball in the coming years. For your interest here is a full report from The Age, dated September 2nd.

The NBL’s new franchise will be in the South East Melbourne. Now, they need a name.
The NBL confirmed the long-suspected location on Sunday after a $126-million election commitment from the Victorian government to refurbish and expand the State Basketball Centre at Wantirna South.

The new south east Melbourne team, owned by Romie Chaudhari, co-owner of English Championship soccer team Swansea City, will be based at the centre for administration and training purposes but play at Melbourne Arena.

The new NBL team could also play two games per season at the State Basketball Centre once the renovations are completed, around 2022.

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Sunday’s announcement also featured a $1 million commitment to develop a business case for a 6000-8000 seat Knox Arena in the precinct but funding for Knox Arena’s construction and planning was not included in Sunday’s announcement.

Melbourne Arena will also receive $13 million in upgrades, which will help boost the capacity for basketball and netball games.

The NBL was not going to lock the team into Melbourne until they had commitments from the state government on the upgrade of the offices and training facilities, with the team planning to be based at the venue ahead of their first season in 2019-2020.

A re-elected Labor government would invest $82 million and Knox City council $25 million into building 10 new courts, making 18 in total at the State Basketball Centre, along with the upgrades to the current showcourt, expanding the office facilities and giving the locker rooms a much-needed renovation.

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The Victorian opposition have yet to commit to matching the government’s funding package but NBL and other basketball officials will be meeting with them in an attempt to gain their support.

General manager of the new Melbourne team, Tommy Greer, said the team already had a website established to register new fans and they would soon open a contest to select a nickname and colours.

“First and foremost we want to insert ourselves in the community out here but that is not given, you have to earn that,” Greer said.

“We will put the name and colours out to the community, we want everyone to jump onto southeastmelbourne.com.au to register interest and we will keep everyone across the movements from there.”

Signing players is still a way down the track considering the new NBL season will soon begin but Greer is already keeping a close watch on overseas-based Australians and those on the fringe of the NBA like Victorian star Mitch Creek.

NBL chief executive Jeremy Loeliger said the decision to base the new team in the south east was finalised by the funding commitment for the stadium, which already houses the offices of Basketball Australia, Basketball Victoria, WNBL club Melbourne Boomers and the Knox Raiders Basketball Association.

“It was unquestionably the deciding factor amongst a number of compelling propositions, and I applaud the Victorian government and Knox City Council for their recognition of the importance of basketball in the Australian sporting landscape,” Loeliger said.

“Melbourne’s south east has long been the stronghold of basketball participation in Australia with about 100,000 of Victoria’s 240,000 total registered participants and it has a rich history in elite and community basketball.”

There is an option for Basketball Australia to move its Centre of Excellence from the Australian Institute of Sport to the State Basketball Centre but that is contingent on the new facilities being better than the state of the art training centre in Canberra which the COE shares with the NBA Global Academy.

For the COE to move to Melbourne, the State Basketball Centre will also need a dormitory building to house 36 or more athletes and elite level treatment, dining and recovery facilities along with the technological and human support available in Canberra.

Little of that was funded in Sunday’s announcement so any move would be a long time away and the NBA has not yet considered any move from Canberra for its academy.

“We have a commitment with the Andrews government that said we have a high benchmark to compare with,” Basketball Australia chief executive Anthony Moore said.

“The AIS is a world-class facility and we have been consistent with our discussions with government saying this is what we have got, we have a Rolls-Royce solution in Canberra and the commitment from government is to better that.

“For our national high performance program to beat the world’s best, it would mean we would have something special here, in the event they don’t meet [that benchmark] then that will be a discussion for our board at a future point in time.”

Melbourne Boomers could receive the most immediate rewards should whoever wins government carry out the upgrades as they play their home games at the stadium and badly need an expanded locker room with the current one too small to comfortably fit 12 elite players.

The Boomers have four players in the Opals squad to play in the FIBA Women’s World Cup later this month and also featured Liz Cambage last season.

“With improved amenities, court technologies and improved game-day experiences for all of our fans, we are going to see a terrific show court here,” Boomers general manager Justin Nelson said.

Source: https://www.smh.com.au/sport/basketball/melbourne-gets-second-nbl-team-to-be-based-in-south-east-20180902-p50198.html

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