Time to resurect the Bullets ... no excuses
DEAR Kristina Keneally, CEO of Basketball Australia.
I love basketball. I love to watch basketball and I particularly like it when I watch my basketball team play. The problem is I don't have a team.
I used to. In fact, over the years of the NBL I've had two teams. First the Canberra Cannons, a club that counted my father amongst its loyal foundation members. Next, I moved to Brisbane and adopted the Bullets. Another proud club with a proud history.
For the past couple of years I even drove to the Gold Coast to get my basketball fix.
Are you seeing a theme here?
Cannons - gone.
Bullets - gone.
Blaze - gone.
Belief in the future of the NBL - going but not quite gone.
As a passionate southeast Queensland basketball fan I urge you to listen, not just to me but to the thousands of basketball families in Brisbane and surrounds.
Make the fastest growing region in Australia your number one priority.
Brisbane needs an NBL team. In fact, we need it yesterday. It's five years since Brisbane had a team and I'm sick of hearing "maybe next year". I know you haven't been in the job long but you have a chance to show some long lost leadership.
The NBL season began two weeks ago and here is some free information for you.
People here couldn't care less. Most basketball people couldn't even tell you what teams are in the competition, so long has it been since they've had any personal stake in the results.
I went to more than a dozen QBL games this season and loved every one of them. It was great because I had a team. My team.
Kids need a local pathway, a local hero to adore, a local team to cheer for. If you don't give them that I promise you they'll go play something else.
The good news is Basketball Queensland yesterday announced a new bid to re-enter the NBL.
A consortium of Basketball Queensland, Basketball Australia and a private equity investor, Brisbane Bullets Queensland Pty Ltd, will again try to ressurect our club. This has been tried before and failed and each time the Brisbane basketball community has been labelled disconnected.
While there is truth to that, where does Basketball Australia's responsibility lie?
Stop whining about what can't be done and work out a way to do it. Take control of this process and just get it done. That's what leaders do.
But don't just do it for me.
Don't even do it for the fans.
Do it for Basketball Australia.
Wollongong, 300,000 people, has a team. Townsville, 180,000 people, has a team. Cairns, 160,000 people, have a team. Brisbane, two million people, no team.
Talk is cheap and basketball is paying an expensive price for ignoring Brisbane.
The figures are undeniable. Brisbane needs a team and basketball needs Brisbane.
Ms Keneally, please show us why you are the right person to grow basketball in Australia.
Do what you have to and make sure this bid is successful. The people of south east Queensland will return the favour.