Giants Embrace D-League Opportunity

Giants new head coach Lou Causer. Photo: Travis Anderson

Giants Embrace D-League Opportunity
By Goldfields Giants Media

Season 2017 is proving to be one of change for the Western Australian State Basketball League with the announcement overnight that the competition will be adopting two major changes for the upcoming season.

Adjustment to the timing of the games, as well as the implementation of a league-wide second tier competition or “D-League” involving all SBL clubs, will see some of the biggest changes to the league since the introduction of the regional teams back in 1989 and 1990.

The timing change sees the league align itself with it’s international governing body FIBA.

Timing of 4 x 10 minute quarters instead of the 4 x 12 minute quarters will see the SBL come into line with the rest of the leagues in Australia as well as the majority of the professional leagues around the world.

All international competitions, including the Olympics and World Cups have been using the 40 minute game format for a number of years now and the majority of leagues around the world have been gradually adopting this over the 48 minute game option.

The introduction of the second-tier league, known as the D-League (short for Development League) will see all of the SBL clubs field teams and compete in a seperate competition. It is currently run under Basketball WA’s WABL competitions, but doesn’t include teams from Geraldton, Kalgoorlie or Bunbury.

As per the current D-League set-up, these teams will be filled by regular SBL players and youth players looking for more court time, former SBL veterans still looking to play and pass on their experience and players who are returning from injury.

What it allows is those players who generally don’t get much opportunity during SBL games to get some much needed game time to help develop them quicker. It gives the club the ability to enhance the pathway for the development of players, coaches, referees and officials and the sport in general.

The Giants were one of the key instigators of the D-League change, having lengthy discussions with SBL hierarchy before the annual SBL strategic meeting on September 10th where the proposal was presented to all SBL clubs, which was then ratified at a SBL Commission meeting on the weekend.

Despite the Giants’ focus on player development since the 2014 season, which has seen nine players under 20 years of age make their SBL debut, not having this secondary option for game play has hampered the development of some players and seen some leave the region or sport.

The introduction of this competition will allow them to play the increased minutes, whilst running the same plays and playing against some of the top SBL talent.

Giants’ chairman Jamie Crombie echoed these views whilst speaking about the Giants’ inclusion into the competition.

“We’re hugely excited about the possibilities that come with the Giants’ inclusion in the D-League competition. It will be great for the development of our younger players, and great for our fans and supporters.”

“It’s not a second rate league by any means, it will definitely be a challenging prospect, one that we’re looking forward to. The 100 foot view is understood, and with this favourable decision it’s time to get cracking on firming up the details as we head into our 2017 campaign.”

Although the exact format of the competition is still to be revealed, clubs will all play each other throughout the season with some teams travelling regionally when their SBL team travels, competing in curtain-raiser games. Likewise when regional teams travel for some of their games to the metro or other regional areas.

Once more information is revealed we will update our sponsors, members and supporters about this exciting part of our clubs’ future.

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