Hitting the court in 2019

It’s official, Tasmania’s The Southern Huskies will be appearing at a basketball court near you in 2019 in the Sal’s NBL, New Zealand’s oldest professional sporting league.

Today’s contract signing concludes months of negotiations, and confirms the Huskies as the first overseas team in a New Zealand owned league.

With the season beginning Thursday 11th April 2019, you can expect to see a host of talent playing in a home and away series, with eight teams from across New Zealand making the trip to our shores. Each of the Sal’s NBL teams will play at last once on one of the Huskies’ Home courts in both the North and South of the state, with double headers forming part of the deal.

New Zealand based Sal’s NBL teams have all expressed excitement at the addition of the Huskies, and at the possibility of testing themselves on court against what is set to be a strong Australian team. The Huskies’ player acquisition team has been busy throughout the past few months, now boasting players such as Adelaide 36’ers Harry Froling and Mason Bragg. The Huskies also have the experienced coach Anthony Stewart locked in, with more signings to be announced in the coming weeks.

Exciting plans are in place for the game night experience at Sal’s NZ NBL games. And to ensure Huskies fans won’t miss out on any of the action when games are played in New Zealand, every game will be live streamed to audiences on both sides of the Tasman.

With close to 6000 Foundation Members already following The Southern Huskies, season passes are expected to sell out quickly on release in early 2019.

Chief Executive of The Southern Huskies, Justin Hickey says this is an exciting move for the Huskies:

“We’re super excited to be joining New Zealand’s Sal’s NBL in 2019.  We see it as critical to be on the floor in 2019, and a step – from a competition point of view – to a league that has grown into an extremely competitive and commercially viable competition. It’s attracting quality players from New Zealand, USA, Europe and the Australian NBL.”

Hickey says he’s committed to growing the sport in Tasmania, and to providing a pathway into the sport for young players throughout Australia.

“We’ve assembled a super exciting and extremely competitive team and we see it as the first step in the road back to the Australian NBL.​ We’re committed to assisting in growing the talent pool in Tasmania and providing an aspirational team for all Tasmanian basketball prospects to aim for”

Hickey anticipates the team’s presence will benefit local tourism, and open the sport up to new audiences within the state:

“Aside from the level of quality basketball we are excited to be playing, the opportunities to showcase both Tasmania and New Zealand from a tourism perspective are tremendous. We have committed to live stream every game to both New Zealand and Australian audiences, and we are working hard to produce a game night like nothing seen in Tasmania before. We want to attract both the basketball and non-basketball audience to what we want to be ‘the best show in town’ each and every week.”