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NBL Announces Return To Competition Taskforce

T
he NBL has announced the establishment of the NBL Return to Competition Taskforce in preparation for the upcoming 2020-21 Hungry Jack’s NBL season.

Chaired by the chairman of the NBL, Graeme Wade, the taskforce consists of the following members:

  • Graeme Wade, NBL Chairman
  • Larry Kestelman, NBL Owner & Executive Chairman
  • Jeremy Loeliger, NBL Commissioner
  • Jack Cowin, Hungry Jack’s Owner
  • Ruffy Geminder, Executive Chairman Pact Group & former NBL team owner
  • Dr Peter Harcourt, Basketball Australia Chief Medical Officer
  • Craig Hutchison, Chairman of Directors & Shareholder of Melbourne United & CEO of Crocmedia
  • Grant Kelley, Adelaide 36ers Owner
  • Chris Lamont, NSW Small Business Commissioner
  • Rob Marcolina, Qantas Executive & former Basketball Australia Chairman
  • Greg O’Neill OAM, ABPA Chairman, CEO La Trobe Financial
  • Glen Rainsbury, Live Entertainment Industry Forum

NBL owner and executive chairman, Larry Kestelman, said the taskforce held its first official meeting last week, and is set to work with the NBL clubs, the Australian Basketball Players’ Association (ABPA) and key stakeholders with regards to the planning and operation of the upcoming season.

“Since the end of the last season, we have all been focused on managing our way through the challenges facing the entire community and planning for the start of next season,” Kestelman said.

“We are firmly focused on delivering the best season we can with the health and safety of players, staff, fans and the wider community remaining paramount.

“The taskforce will assist us in planning the season, taking into account the different measures that may be in place across Australia and New Zealand and remaining flexible in the face of these challenges.

“This includes managing border and travel restrictions and meeting the required health and safety protocols to ensure we can schedule a season that gives as many fans as possible the opportunity to attend games and does not unnecessarily impact financially on the clubs.

“At this stage we are still hoping to start the season in early December, but we will be guided by the taskforce around scheduling.

“Playing as many games in front of fans remains a priority.

“They are the lifeblood of our clubs and we will do all that is possible to deliver a season that allows them to be part of it,” he said.

NBL commissioner, Jeremy Loeliger, said the taskforce will consider all options to ensure the best possible outcome for the NBL season.

“We need to stay nimble in our decision making and be prepared to consider all options whilst collaborating closely with the clubs and players to ensure we are meeting their needs,” Loeliger said.

“Importantly this taskforce comprises experts providing insight and perspective from so many different points of view, including sponsors, governments, medical experts, player advocates and of course our teams.

“We will continue to work closely with State and Federal Governments and their agencies as well as venue owners for additional support.

“Clubs that cannot play in their home cities for a period of time may be required to relocate and we need to be prepared for all scenarios.

“The NBL has enjoyed tremendous growth over the past five seasons and is now considered one of the best leagues in the world outside of the NBA.

“We are determined to continue to build momentum and repay the faith fans have shown in us,” he said.