Slam dunk for league as team numbers steady

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

Basketball’s rise to prominence among the summer sports in Albany has remained steady for the 2017-18 season, with Albany Basketball Association team numbers on par with last year’s registration.

After five years of growth for the ABA, 189 teams will compete across all levels for the second straight year.

ABA president Paul Barber said the continued strength of the association was pleasing.

“We’ve put a lot of work into promoting basketball in Albany so it’s great to see the registration numbers where they are,” he said.

“We’ve clamped down on the bad behaviour and focused on promoting the social elements of the game as much as the competitive side of things.”

Barber said the Year 4 fixtures had been moved to Saturdays to provide more flexibility for court usage.

“Moving the Year 4s to Saturday has given us more room to grow — we’re starting to run out of time during the week,” he said.

The women’s A-grade competition has dropped from six to four teams from the previous year and Barber said the ABA would reconsider whether to promote any B-grade sides after the three week grading period.

“Grammar and Sparks couldn’t field teams this season — we’re looking at it and we’ll reassess after the grading process,” he said.

There are currently 12 teams in the women’s B-grade competition.

Barber said the addition of four new teams to the men’s A-grade competition was positive.

“It will change the whole competition,” he said. “It’s really pleasing to have all the new teams so we’re stoked about that.”

New teams in the men’s top tier include Kinjarling Thunder, Denmark-Albany Spartans, Pelicans and Knights, while Wolves and Dugites are defunct, taking the league to a nine-team competition.

There are currently 11 teams in the men’s B-division 1, while 14 teams are listed in division 2.

The new season starts next Monday.

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