The country’s best young basketballers will converge on Melbourne over April 17-18 for the NBL Combine. Presented by Mitchell & Ness, their performance over these intense two-days could set them on a path to an exciting professional career.
This is a landmark moment for Australian basketball as it is the first time that all the major governing bodies (NBL, Basketball Australia, Centre of Excellence & the Australian Basketballers’ Association) will work together to deliver a clear pathway for the elite junior talent to continue their development here in Australia.
“Promoting a pathway for talented athletes to stay in Australia is a vital positioning piece for the NBL. It will become a key pillar of our relationship with Basketball Australia, giving us an annual fixture to connect the best young players with the NBL in an organised setting,” said NBL CEO Jeremy Loeliger.
Working in partnership with all of the major bodies will ensure delivery of the Combine’s objectives. Significantly, Patrick Hunt, President of the FIBA World Association of Basketball Coaches has been appointed Camp Director.
“Patrick is a highly-respected figure in the world of basketball and we are very excited to have him running the NBL Combine,” said Loeliger.
“His international status in the game aligns with the NBL’s vision, which is to establish the Combine as an elite pathway for young players into a professional career.”
The Combine has been scheduled to take place soon after Free Agency commences, which will ensure players stand the best chance of being recruited by NBL clubs.
It is anticipated that 80 participants in total will take part in the Combine. These will include returning US college players, SEABL players, state league players, national U18 and U20’s representatives as well as invitees from the BA Centre of Excellence.
The 2017 NBL Combine will also be host overseas talent with three players from India taking part.
“This will help to solidify Australia as the hub for basketball both in terms of development and professionalism within the region,” said Loeliger.
The two-day fixture will employ the same testing techniques as the NBA’s event including physical testing, skills testing, offensive/defensive breakdowns and game play in order to give players the best opportunity to showcase their talents across all facets of the game. Importantly, it will provide a great chance for NBL representatives and coaches to assess them.
La Trobe University will carry out all testing and will assist in the recording and distribution of all results.
Participants can register to be a part of the NBL Combine at nbl.com.au/combine
Players will be reviewed by the NBL Combine coaching staff, with a fee of $250 payable for those athletes who are attending.
This will be the second instalment of the NBL combine and the first run and operated by the NBL after obtaining the rights from W Sports & Media (who will continue to co-manage the event in conjunction with the NBL).