Toowoomba Mountaineers coach Danny Breen during time out against Logan Thunder in QBL men round 6 basketball at USQ's Clive Berghofer Recreation Centre, Saturday, June 1, 2019.
Toowoomba Mountaineers coach Danny Breen during time out against Logan Thunder in QBL men round 6 basketball at USQ's Clive Berghofer Recreation Centre, Saturday, June 1, 2019.

Future of QBL decision looms

BASKETBALL Queensland are expected to this week inform the NBL if they have accepted their proposal to turn the QBL into "NBL1 North" for season 2020 and beyond.

Under the NBL's vision, the New South Wales and Queensland state leagues, the Waratah League and the QBL respectively, would fall under their banner, as did the old SEABL in Victoria this year.

The SEABL was transformed into the NBL1 in 2019 and was regarded as a direct pathway to the professional summer competition in Australia.

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If NSW and Queensland follow, the NBL have the state league competitions in South and Western Australia in their sights in coming years.

NBL officials have met with Basketball Queensland and QBL clubs in recent weeks to outline what the NBL1 North competition would look like if they agreed to the plan.

Andy Crook, Chief Operating Officer of the NBL, said conversations had been positive with an outcome expected this week.

The NBL and BQ have been speaking for almost six months about the plan, but dialogue ramped up in recent weeks.

"We are in active discussions with Basketball Queensland at the moment, I did a presentation to all club delegates recently and that was received very well by all of them," Crook said.

"We are hopeful they would have made a decision by some time this week on whether they will go ahead with our proposal about a partnership.

The Gold Coast Rollers (basketball) women team made the QBL grand final. Picture: Jerad Williams.
The Gold Coast Rollers (basketball) women team made the QBL grand final. Picture: Jerad Williams.

"In the main, associations are supportive of the concept, things are looking positive but we are just waiting for the sign-off or the approval."

Crook said a specific name for the new league has not been created but NBL1 North had been floated.

Under the NBL's vision for the QBL, marketing, streaming, content and media would increase to lift the profile of the competition across Australia.

"It is about delivering as much as we can to national fans of basketball to see as much of the games as they can," Crook said.

Southern Districts Spartans women celebrate third straight QBL championship
Southern Districts Spartans women celebrate third straight QBL championship

If the plans get ticked off, a national championship is likely to be played between the best teams from each state following the season, with a final played in Victoria in the first season, before being rotated around the country.

An ABA National Champion has not been crowned since 2008.

Earlier this year, powerhouse northern QBL clubs welcomed the potential of a revived national championship as well as the NBL1 brand spreading north of the border.

In 2019, NBL1 replaced the old SEABL and incorporated Big V clubs from around Melbourne with Basketball Victoria partnering with the NBL to create a new league to strengthen the pathway for Australia's basketball talent.