The Hungry Jack’s NBL will return to Canberra when the Illawarra Hawks play the Cairns Taipans on Australia Day.
The NBL today announced a partnership with the ACT Government and Basketball ACT to bring elite basketball back to the nation’s capital.
The ACT Government will invest $125,000 to bring a Hawks game to AIS Arena on January 26 . The team will also host a number of coaching clinics with ACT Representative squads and ACT coaches, visit a number of schools and play against the AIS Centre of Excellence Basketball team.
NBL Chief Executive Jeremy Loeliger said: “It’s exciting to have the NBL return to the nation’s capital. Basketball has a proud heritage in Canberra and we hope the fans will get behind this opportunity so we can bring more games to the city in years to come.”
“I want to thank the ACT Government, the Illawarra Hawks and Basketball ACT for this partnership which will continue to expand the footprint of the NBL across Australia during an exciting growth period for the league.”
An NBL game was last played in 2008 when the Sydney Spirit played the Adelaide 36ers. The Canberra Cannons played in the NBL from 1979 until 2003 and won three championships.
ACT Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry said: “Here in Canberra we love playing and watching basketball. This presents an exciting opportunity for Basketball ACT and our city of passionate supporters.
“The Hawks’ support for the continuing delivery of programs in Canberra schools, clubs and coaching clinics will help continue to build the strong basketball community we have here in the ACT.
“Teams such as the Illawarra Hawks can be a huge inspiration to young players and help them realise the possibilities of pursuing a professional career in basketball and other sports.”
Illawarra Hawks General Manager Mat Campbell said: “As basketball continues to go from strength-to-strength, we are working to propel the Hawks into the top of its class and thanks to the ACT Government we are thrilled to be broadening our footprint into a true traditional basketball heartland.
“We are excited to bring Canberra and surrounding regions a pathway into professional sports and are looking forward to producing a great game day experience on Australia Day.”