2017 was a big year for basketball worldwide with the announcement of 3×3 (three-on-three) becoming an Olympic sport at Tokyo 2020.
In Australia, the NBL enjoyed another strong season, the WNBL was back on TV, and the NBA brought an NBA Global Academy to Canberra.
At Basketball ACT, we also enjoyed a year with many significant milestones. Most noticeably, we built Australia’s first FIBA accredited 3×3 courts (launched on the same day that 3×3 was added to the Olympics), celebrated our first annual Indigenous Round and Canberra Basketball Alumni Night, and refurbished the front foyer and cafeteria at Belconnen Basketball Stadium.
Behind the scenes, we enjoyed a number of other successes that received less spotlight.
The refurbishment of Belconnen stadium includes an original artwork by local indigenous artist Selina Walker and staff participated in a cultural awareness workshop.
More than 9,000 participated in our competitions and programs in 2017 and this is testament to the incredible work done by the tireless volunteers involved in running the member Clubs.
New CEO, Michael Haynes, joined in March, which was a homecoming of sorts as Michael had been a coach in our junior programs from 1999 – 2002 and played and coached in local competitions from 1993 – 2002. After leaving Canberra, he worked as Head Coach in the Northern Territory, as COO and head of Community Basketball at Basketball Australia, CEO at Northern Suburbs Basketball in Sydney, and as a consultant to FIBA.
In 2017, Basketball ACT’s Competitions Department:
- Introduced weekly morning drop-in competition “Mums who Ball” played next to “Baby Ballers”; a kids program for 18-month to 5-year-olds to play, learn, and move with other kids in a basketball setting. The program was a finalist for the Ministers’ Innovation Award at the CBR Sports Awards;
- Increased competition participation by 10 per cent;
- Expanded competitions to new facilities, including schools, to make basketball more accessible – which included introducing Under 10’s competitions run solely at a school venue;
- Introduced 3×3 State Championships for U18’s and Seniors;
- Introduced wheelchair basketball programs;
- Enjoyed an 80 per cent increase in team participation in The Tradies Canberra Classic;
- It was also the first time in five years the Canberra Classic included an Invitational Women’s and A Grade Women’s competition;
- Customer Service Officers underwent training courses in Conflict Resolution and Communication Skills;
- Partnered with School Sport Australia in the hosting of their Secondary School Championships.
In 2017, Basketball ACT’s Referees and Officials:
- Had over 150 people attend Junior Referee courses;
- Increased coverage on Junior and Senior domestic games;
- Introduced a Wheelchair Referee Course;
- Underwent 3×3 training;
- Increased WNBL representation to 4 referees;
- 1 referee on NBL development panel;
- Continued to perform well at interstate tournaments;
- Reintroduced Annual Awards night.
In 2017, Basketball ACT appointed two Development Officers (positions that have not existed for a number of years):
- Achieved the second highest Aussie Hoops centre participation numbers in Australia;
- Development Officer Reece Kaye was a finalist for Aussie Hoops Coach of the Year;
- Introduced an “8 and Unders” program to bridge the gap from Aussie Hoops to U10’s;
- Introduced the Holiday Hoops Camp, which grew five times in size from July to December, and helped form the Aussie Hoops and 8 and Unders programs;
- Visited over 2000 kids through the Sporting Schools Program;
- Doubled the number of school visits in Term 4;
- Partnered with the National Disability Trust to introduce the “Jammers” program for intellectually disabled people;
- Ran a basketball shooting stall at the Special Kids Christmas Party.
In 2017, Basketball ACT’s High Performance Department:
- Women’s Ivor Burge team took silver at Nationals;
- Canberra Gunners Academy made finals of NSW Waratah Men’s State League;
- For the first time ever, Basketball ACT initiated an ‘Allies Team’ for the U20 Nationals in Bendigo. The team comprised of four women from Tasmania, three from NT and three from the ACT;
- Saw 10 male ACT juniors and one female ACT junior playing in the US College system;
- Two ACT juniors received US High School scholarships;
- Phil Brown, who heads up the department, was inducted into the ACT Sport Hall of Fame for his contribution to the sport over the last 30 years;
- The Capitals Academy had their most successful season in the SEABL, in contention for finals until the last weeks of the season.
In 2017, Basketball ACT expanded our online reach:
- Nearly doubling their Facebook following (now has 3,600 Likes);
- Introduced an Instagram account, which now has over 600 followers;
- Received over 90,000 views on Facebook video content created by BACT;
- Strengthened ties with clubs to increase their online presence (all Premier 1 clubs now have an active Facebook page);
- Were named the “Fastest-Mover” on Facebook among ACT sporting peak bodies in May by Shunt.com.au, growing Facebook by 18.19 per cent;
- Were second in the “Fast-Movers” category in August and October, growing Facebook by 18.71 per cent and 11.23 per cent.
In 2017, several former Canberra juniors, players and referees with strong Canberra ties achieved great feats in Australia and overseas:
(In no particular order)
- Carlie Smith, Sarah McAppion and Isabelle Bourne represented Australia for the first time in 3×3, winning gold at the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup and Isabelle was named MVP of the tournament;
- Isabelle Bourne also received a Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence Scholarship;
- Brittany Anderson represented Australia, winning 3×3 gold at the INAS World Basketball Championships;
- Justin Koenig and Jack Littleton represented Australia, earning bronze in the INAS World Basketball Championships;
- Patty Mills named Person of the Year at the NAIDOC Awards, while enjoying another successful season with the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA;
- Tony Cotton and Marlene Leonard were awarded Basketball ACT Life Memberships;
- Dion Devow (President of the Warriors Club) was named ACT Australian of the Year (to be presented in January 2018);
- Annabelle Lindsay was selected in the Australia Gliders, earning silver at the Osaka Cup;
- Jesse Wagstaff won his 4th NBL Championship with the Perth Wildcats;
- Alex Bunton and Nat Hurst were selected in the Australian Opals squad and Nat Hurst returned to the WNBL playing for the Canberra Capitals;
- Carrie Graf and Lucille Bailee were inducted to Basketball Australia’s Hall of Fame;
- Simon Cosier was appointed to the 2016-17 WNBL Finals Panel;
- Mitchell Hudson selected on the WNBL Development Panel and officiated the Under 20 Women’s Bronze Medal match;
- Pyper Thornberry was selected to attend the Australian Development Camp;
- Shane Wallace (U16W Head Coach) was nominated for Basketball Australia’s Australian development Camp (ADC);
- Debbie Cook (Canberra Capitals Academy Head Coach) was nominated for Basketball Australia’s Australian development Camp (ADC);
- Chima Moneke led his UC Davis Aggies to their first ever NCAA March Madness berth;
- Basketball ACT Referee and Officials Coordinator, Michelle Cosier, was appointed to the SEABL, WNBL, and NBL Development Panels, officiated the Under 20 Men’s Gold Medal match;
- Jack Taylor officiated his 500th Senior Premier League Game;
- Sam De Graaf, Mitchell Hudson, Alex Robinson, Ally O’Toole, Ethan Tulk all officiated their 100th Senior Premier League game;
- Tegan Edwards officiated the Under 14 Boys Shield Gold Medal Game;
- Valerie Rufuerzo and Kevin Poulton officiated the Gold Medal Game at the Australian Secondary School Championships (Zebra Tour) in Melbourne;
- Annette Anderson appointed to Under 16 Gold Medal match for Score table;
- Callie Bourne played her second WNBL season with the UC Capitals;
- Glenn Morison and Darcy Malone received NBL Development Player contracts.
“2017 was an exciting year for basketball,” says Basketball ACT CEO, Michael Haynes, “and this will continue in 2018 where our key focus areas are:
- Working with our clubs to help them recruit and develop volunteers;
- Linking with Basketball Australia’s national framework for 3×3 and placing ACT as a leader in the discipline;
- Sourcing more facilities and improving the standard of existing facilities;
- Improving the quality of our competitions;
- Working with the basketball community to make the sport available to all.”
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of our Canberra basketball community – both over the years and in 2017. We can’t wait to see you back for another great year in 2018!