ALEX FAIR THE ADVOCATE The NBL1 All-Star team which will feature in Tasmania during the NBL Blitz will be announced next week, and at this stage it is “expected to include Tasmanian players and coaches”, the league confirmed on Wednesday.
The team will play the Brisbane Bullets on night one of the Blitz, at Ulverstone on Thursday, September 19, and Cairns Taipans on Saturday, September 21 in Launceston.
NBL owner and executive chairman Larry Kestelman had previously said he hoped there would be some “Tassie players and coaches on board especially from the North-West (Thunder)” when it came to the team.
Players had until 5pm on Wednesday to nominate to be in the team, with North-West Thunder chairman Tony Barker saying he believed that “probably all” of the North-West Thunder’s players (minus imports who have already gone home) would have put their hands up.
“I know the intent behind it is to have a strong a Tasmanian connection,” he said.
“We have options with that with Thunder players, Hobart Huskies players and other players who have been through the system, or have played with the Thunder or Hobart, but being an All Stars team you would need to have a good spread of players from across the league.”
Barker believed the opportunity for those that get picked would be great, not only being able to play against an NBL side, but to also perform in front of coaches at that level.
He also said he was “presently surprised” to see Blitz games at Ulverstone and Devonport (on September 20).
“To get half the games in the Blitz in the North of the state (with two at the Silverdome in Launceston) is fantastic,” he said.