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Devils, Suns back playing nationally


THE Townsville Suns and Hobart Devils are BACK and on the national circuit again, confirmed overnight as two foundation clubs of the CLB3X3's new Elite competition.

Champions League Basketball, the parent of CLB3X3 and Australia's premier 3-on-3 entrepreneur - endorsed by FIBA, which has 3X3 at the Tokyo Olympics ... there's a basketball Gold Medal just waiting to be won - has announced the nation's newest league, CLB Elite 3X3.

Townsville Suns and Hobart Devils have been working with CLB for three years to return to a national basketball stage and CLB Elite 3X3 is the perfect vehicle.

CLB founder Matt Hollard anticipates the Elite 3X3 will launch with 24 teams Australia-wide in every state and territory - something no other league or other sport has been able to achieve.

"Both of these teams come from cities that are no strangers to the world of basketball and have an impressive history, but have been starved of the opportunity to represent in a national league," Hollard said.

"We thought it was time to bring them back to the stage and this is just the beginning, we will be announcing more teams over the next few months.

"Peak Sport Australia, together with Nahum Ziersch Illustration (the designer behind the Adelaide 36ers' new branding) have worked tirelessly to get the uniforms “just right” and bring back a bit of the old school hoops.

"We also aim to reinvigorate some traditional Australian basketball names not seen or heard of for some 10-20 years."

The "Townsville Suns" was the original name of the Crocodiles' NBL franchise when it joined the big league in 1993, but by 1999 after pressure from threatened legal action by the NBA's Phoenix Suns, it changed its nickname.

Apparently, Phoenix owns "Suns" as a trademark name, the NBA franchise even going after the AFL's Gold Coast Suns but aborting litigation because it was now a football name and not a basketball clash.

Given Townsville has revived the name, the fact it is 3X3 and not traditional basketball may again avoid the threat of litigation. (But hey, it's a whole new generation so "Townsville Sons" would work too!)

Adelaide 36ers' NBL championship-winner, 300-gamer and a 20-year veteran of elite-level basketball, Mark Nash, will head the CLB3X3 Hobart Devils program.

That's Nashy, below, playing for Hobart Devils against Townsville Suns and Keiron Mitchellhill.

Hobart Devils joined the NBL in 1983 and became defunct after the 1996 season. Since then, Hobart has not enjoyed a top-tier men's presence, apart from occasional "Taking it to the Streets" NBL games at Derwent Entertainment Centre.

"Mark will be a key driver in the Hobart Devils brand as our CLB3X3 regional manager, having
lived, played and coached all over Tasmania," Hollard said.

"We are very proud and honoured to have an individual of Mark's calibre join our team and head up a very important piece to our brand."

Nash is one of the sport's most respected past players and identities, a man of inscrutable integrity and passion for basketball.

"As a Tasmanian diehard and member of the original Devils, I am excited to be involved with
CLB3X3 and bringing back the Hobart Devils to the basketball public in Tasmania," he said.

"Our teams will feature emerging male and female Tasmanian talent and the initial buzz from athletes so far has been contagious."

CLB Elite 3X3's two foundation clubs will participate in the "Cluster Round" series coming up at State Basketball Centre in Melbourne from Friday, November 24-to-Sunday the 26th.

Townsville will suit Tim Keating (QBL and Townsville Suns regional manager), Luke Schenscher, Peter Crawford and Robert Linton.

Schenscher, the first player to represent the Boomers at senior level while still in high school, won an NBL championship in 2010 and also had NBA stints with Portland Trail Blazers and Chicago Bulls.

London Olympian Crawford was his teammate at Townsville Crocodiles and is a renowned 3-point specialist.

The Hobart Devils will unleash their new teams in both the women's and men's categories.

Local players Ellie Collins and Sharna Thompson spearhead the women's team, while the men's team is led by experienced SEABL player BJ Radcliffe and emerging talents Matthew Young and Elijah Pawson.

All Elite 3X3 games will be on the show court on Saturday, November 25, in conjunction with a terrific WNBL afternoon double-header featuring Bendigo against Canberra and Dandenong hosting Adelaide. The latter pair already have enjoyed two thrillers, including one overtime game and are 1-1.

The CLB 3X3 Masters round will be on the Sunday.

The complete Elite series will be live streamed via CLB3X3’s digital partner Live Sport Australia.

Flashing back (above) to the days of the Suns and Devils during their NBL lives.

 

Nov 13

Content, unless otherwise indicated, is © copyright Boti Nagy.