Basketball: Innovative new Women's NBL set to launch

COVID-19 has caught the basketball community off guard this season, forcing the cancellation and postponement of various tournaments across the country. 

But the sport has bounced back, revamping existing competitions to align with pandemic restrictions, and they've done it again with the launch of the women's NBL.

Following on from the men’s NBL Showdown earlier this year, this contest will be known as the NBL '18IN18', referring to the event’s 18 games being played in 18 days. 

Six teams will contest the title - defending champion Auckland Dream, Canterbury Wildcats, Capital Swish, Harbour Breeze, Otago Gold Rush and Waikato Wizards.

Ella Fotu is one of many Tall Ferns players who'll feature in the competition and is raring to get stuck in.

"I'm very excited," says Fotu. "It's going to be good to get out there and play again, especially after we weren’t sure if this season would go ahead or not. 

"This is such a good opportunity for us to show everyone the rising talent of women’s basketball in New Zealand. 

"And it is a cool concept, too. To have games broadcast every night will show all the young girls out there that basketball can take them places."

Tall Ferns Assistant Coach and Harbour Breeze Head Coach, Jody Cameron, echoes Fotu's sentiments.

"It's fantastic to see this announced," says Cameron. "All of the girls are just super excited to get back on court. 

"I love the '18IN18' concept, which will make for a great spectacle for sports fans."

The season will be based at one venue with teams either staying together or travelling in and out, depending on the restrictions in place at the time.

The host city or town is yet to be finalised.

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