MORE than 300 players have already registered for the 2020 Sal’s National Basketball League (NBL) Player Draft on June 11, including a number of Australian NBL (ANBL) players and New Zealand stars.
The most recent big name was Melbourne United’s Tohi Smith-Milner who registered for the draft early on day two. His registration came a day after the likes of Jack Salt – a young Kiwi who has experience all over the world – as well as a host of other recognisable names in the sport.
Perth Wildcats’ development player Taylor Britt, Illawarra Hawks’ development player Hyrum Harris and New Zealand Breakers’ Tom Vodanovich were among those registered who were on ANBL lists in the past season.
While only 84 players can be drafted on one of the seven team lists, the depth of the nominees means the quality of basketball is likely to be high. For those wanting to catch all the action of the Sal’s NBL, the games are broadcast locally on Sky Sport, while for those overseas, a live stream of all matches will be set up via League Pass as a way of helping support players and teams.
New Zealand NBL General Manager Justin Nelson said the League Pass initiative of pay-per-view allowed another source of income for players and clubs during the tough international climate.
“We all know COVID-19 has brought the sporting world to a grinding halt, so that means our league could be the best available basketball option for overseas fans,” he said. “We are stepping into new territory by offering our games globally.
“The teams’ revenue sources are challenged this year too, so we needed to help them and the players. “We think LeaguePass.co.nz is an enticing option for the basketball hungry audience and could potentially be a great financial boost for the players, as well as the teams and their profiles.
“We think this might be a first. “I don’t know of another sport in New Zealand where players have been given a share of the pay-per-view revenue like this.”
For more information on the NZNBL coverage, visit the NZNBL website.
Player registration will run until the end of next week – Friday, June 5 – giving as many players the opportunity to sign up for the unique competition as possible. The Pre-Selection Window will commence from Saturday, June 6 to Tuesday, June 9 before the Player Draft on June 11, and a short Trade Window from June 12-14.
Teams arrive at the central location in Auckland on Friday, June 19 with the first matches to tip off on Tuesday, June 23.