National Basketball League Confirms AFL Clubs' Interest In Creating Basketball Teams
Australia's National Basketball League confirmed that some Australian Football League clubs are "keen on creating their own basketball team" to be part of the league's expansion, with two Melbourne-based AFL clubs reportedly the "front-runners," according to Ben Waterworth of FOX SPORTS. NBL Owner Larry Kestelman "wants to expand the league by up to four teams in the coming years." The league is "keen for some AFL clubs to add basketball departments so they can also run NBL teams in the coming years." Fox Footy and Fox Sports NBL commentator Dwayne Russell reported on Monday that two Melbourne-based AFL clubs were the "front-runners to enter teams into the soon-to-be-expanded NBL." Russell said that Collingwood, which already has a netball team and AFL Women's side, had "shown interest in owning a basketball team." Fremantle "also looms as a viable option" to be a second Western Australia-based NBL team "off the back of the Perth Wildcats' success," which has seen the club attract more than 15,000 fans to most home games so far this season. Russell said that he had spoken with Kestleman, who is "keen to follow a model from Europe" where football and basketball teams have one owner. Russell: "They're the one franchise (in Europe) and it works because it brings a massive membership base to a new team" (FOX SPORTS, 11/13).