Illawarra Hawks building a nest in Canberra

Released 13/11/2018

Today I announced a one year partnership between the ACT Government and Illawarra Hawks that will bring a National Basketball League game to Canberra and a big range of opportunities for the community to get involved in basketball and have access to elite players.

The team will be in Canberra for three days in late November 2018, hosting coaching clinics with ACT representative squads and ACT coaches, visiting schools as well as playing a game against the AIS Centre of Excellence Basketball team.

Support from the Hawks to delivering programs in Canberra schools, clubs and coaching clinics will help bolster the strong basketball community here in the ACT.

With the recent cessation of the South East Australian Basketball League, this partnership plays an important role in providing genuine pathway opportunities for local elite players.

They will have access to training sessions and an opportunity to be involved in the Hawks High Performance programs, with a minimum of two ACT players offered an invitation to attend the Hawks Academy in Wollongong.

The ACT Government has committed $125,000 to bringing this great opportunity to Canberra. Teams like the Illawarra Hawks encourage participation and inspire young players to see the possibilities of pursuing a professional career in basketball and other sports.

This partnership will provide even more exciting opportunities for Basketball ACT and Canberra’s passionate basketball supporters.

The Hawks will face off against the Cairns Taipans in Canberra at AIS Arena on 26 January 2019.

Quote to be attributed to CEO, NBL, Jeremy Loeliger:

“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.”

Quote to be attributed to General Manager, Illawarra Hawks, Mat Campbell:

“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.

Since the league launched in 1979, the Hawks have developed - and relied - on their strong foundations within the community, which has gone on to inspire not only generations of basketballers but many others within the wider community and this announcement is another exciting step in allowing us to continue to do that - on-court and off.”

- Statement ends -

Section: Yvette Berry, MLA | Media Releases

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