Anyone for Social Basketball?

By Lawrence Machado
The Sydney Social Basketball League, Australia’s only private basketball entity, is geared for more expansion in the Hills, following their long overdue entry two years ago.

Like all sports associations, the Sydney Basketball League’s plans and competitions were badly affected by Covid-19 lockdowns. Even until January, this popular social basketball league was scrambling to get things going again in the Hills and other suburbs where their unique competitions have grabbed the attention of locals.

However, the boys are back in town and have been steaming up the courts at Model Farms High School since February. If all goes well, there will soon be a female competition too in the Hills.

SBL League Sports Manager John Hagar said they had some very challenging times since the Covid-19 pandemic hit Australia.

“The last year was very challenging and even upto January this year, it was very tough for us,” Hagar said. “We had some government assistance, but it was not enough.

“However, we started the first ever SBL Baulkham Hills competition in February and it is going along well. We are fielding a lot of enquiries from new players now.

“The venue, Model Farms High School, is great and we’re excited to see how the season plays out. We are opening registrations soon for our season 2 SBL Baulkham Hills social men’s Wednesday night competition in May.”

SBL, unlike the other professional and semi-professional leagues in the Hills and NSW, run strictly social basketball competitions, making it ideal for those who are unable to play regularly or others who like to enjoy an evening of fun with their mates.

Each season runs typically from 12-14 weeks, and SBL is looking to have at least two-three seasons each year to cope with the demand.

The game is growing and so are we,” Hagar said. “We are looking to add more men’s division competition, and even a women’s one.”

SBL was founded in 1997 with competitions running in Blacktown, Caringbah, Glebe, Lidcombe, Petersham, and Ryde. SBL is pretty innovative, developing their own sports administration app which allows staff to take player statistics during a game and then immediately upload them in real-time to their website. This is an Australian first for any social basketball tournament, according to Hagar.

All Hills games are played at Model Farms High School from 6:30pm on Wednesday evenings. Details: www.sbl.com.au

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