In late June, the New Zealand NBL season was ready to kick off. Following governments ease on the lockdown restrictions, the football authorities announced the historic NBL season launch. This comes as a surprise as many people did not think it was possible. The league announced that close to 80 of the basketball players will stay at Auckland’s casino.
Upon announcement, the league revealed that players will be able to come and watch as their favourite teams compete for the top spot. According to Justin Nelson, NZ NBL general manager the move to place players at the casino is to ensure that they are not distracted by any outside factors.
How Will Things Work?
The historic NBL season will feature Auckland-based NBL teams. In total, there season will bring together seven teams, of which five had to support staff and shift players to the north for the quickfire season. Complete with an historic draft, teams will train every day and train three times a week.
The season will last just a little over a month, six weeks to be exact. As stated by the league, some players will share rooms. For instance, the likes of Dane Brooks, Nelson Giants duo and Tommy Gargiulo will be roommates.
Gargiulo is still in disbelief that he is able to make the team this year. After being part of the team for over 10 years but has never been part of the final cut – until this year.
NBL Season Lacks Funding from Government
Things have not been smooth sailing for the league. Earlier in June, NZ basketball revealed that it was frustrated and disappointed by the lack of support from government. New Zealand by the Government offers funding to other sports such as football, rugby and netball except basketball.
Officials are still concerned about a $4.6 million funding package. The funding was awarded for high-performance sport but did not make it to the basketball league. The league was told to wait until July 1 for the next round of funding.
The head coach stated that siting this year out would cause more damage than good for corporate backers, sponsors as well as supporters. Already the league is struggling to secure any form of funding from the government.
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