City to host its first NBL game
IPSWICH basketball fans are in for a rare treat this month with the city set to host its first NBL game.
The pre-season match between reigning title holders New Zealand Breakers and runners-up Cairns Taipans will take place at the Cotton On Foundation Stadium at Booval on September 23.
The match forms part of the NBL’s new Sunshine State Challenge, a pre-season tournament. Queensland will host 17 matches in only seven days.
Ipswich Basketball president Neil Coupland said the match is a boon for the regional basketball community.
“I think it proves that all the hard work Ipswich people have done over the years and in particular since the flooding doesn’t go unnoticed,” he said.
“This will put Ipswich basketball on the map.
“Ipswich is predominately a football town so this gives us a chance to get on the front foot to promote our game in the region.
“We are one of the few sports in Ipswich that participates in a full state competition so it’s great to be able to let people know what we’re about.”
Ipswich basketball is funding the game and hopes to recover the investment through the ticket sales.
Coupland was keen to highlight that the opportunity was about giving back to the sport.
“Any money we make from the game will go straight back into our programs,” he said.
Regional juniors will be the winners with both NBL teams scheduled to conduct a junior skills clinic at the stadium.
Coupland said limited tickets would be available for both events.
With the Ipswich stadium limited to a capacity of around 300 people, the game is expected to attract plenty of local interest.
The NBL game announcement comes after the signing of former NBA and Boomers star Shane Heal as coach for next season.
Coupland said after the devastation of January’s floods few people would have predicted such positive news.
“It’s really exciting times for us at the moment,” he said.
Ipswich is hosting an NBL pre-season game at Booval between Cairns and New Zealand on Friday night, September 23 at 7pm.