A new initiative launches this week with the aim of strengthening the pathway for local players to earn selection in the SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks in 2018.
The Sharks Summer League starts this Thursday night and will feature four teams, squaring off against each other in round-robin format, followed by semi-finals and finals over the next five weeks.
The concept is one being driven by Sharks Head Coach Judd Flavell and overseen by Southland Basketball Development Officer and former Southland Shark Dan Peck, to ensure local players have the best chance and are in the best possible shape to push for roster spots for the 2018 New Zealand National Basketball League.
Peck is a big fan of the new league. “It’s great that the Sharks have created this opportunity for our Southland players. After the club season finishes, this bridges the gap to the Sharks trials really well and really gives something for our local players to focus on.”
“Judd is a strong believer that one of the benefits of having the Sharks is developing the game here in Southland and, in time, if talented young local kids know they have a real shot at getting to play for the Sharks one day, that can only be a good thing for the game,” Peck said.
The league’s four teams have been strategically selected to balance the talent and showcase each player’s ability.
White: A team is made up of players that are vying for spots on the 2018 Southland U19 team and potentially the Sharks pre-season squad.
Orange: A team of Southland Shark locals, along with promising players from this years A-Grade competition.
Black: A team with players vying for spots on the 2018 Southland U17 team as well as some of Southland’s top former Under-19 players.
Blue: A team comprised of some of Southland’s more experienced locals, who will look to guide some of the youngest local up-and-coming players. Games will be held at ILT Stadium Southland every Thursday at 6:00pm and 7:30pm.
This Thursday Blue takes on Orange at 6:00pm and White faces Black at 7:30pm. All games will be played on ILT Stadium Southland’s Main Court.