NBL stars in Coffs
COFFS Harbour is adding to its popularity as a stop for the stars of basketball this coming season with the official announcement by the National Basketball League this week that Coffs Harbour Basketball will host a Philips Championship clash between the West Sydney Razorbacks and the Townsville Crocodiles.
Already host to the pre-season NBL Blitz tournament in September, the Championship match will take place on January 10 at the business end of the season and will be a big draw card according to Judy Smith, President of Coffs Harbour Basketball.
"We certainly expect a sell out," she said.
"It is the first time that a round of the NBL has been played here.
"We've often hosted NBL teams in pre-season but this will be a first Championship game and we'll expect a very intense look about the teams at that time of the year."
Smith said that the January 10 date was ideal.
"It's excellent timing with school holidays.
"We'll have plenty of visitors as well as locals keen to pack the place out.
"This match is being brought here by the Razorbacks - a club that we've had an excellent long-standing relationship with.
"One of the reasons why they've chosen to come up here is because of the support Coffs spectators and businesses has given them in the past.
"And certainly from the Coffs perspective they've been wonderful ambassadors for basketball, taking the time to run clinics and specialist camps - pretty much whatever we've asked them to do."
Dynamic guard, James Harvey, who led the Philips Championship scoring before a shoulder injury cut short his last season, will be an ace on show in the Razorbacks' pack while big man import Larry Abney and young international Brad Newly will be among the Crocodile's most high profile weapons.
Smith said that tickets would go on sale in late November. Razorbacks' CEO, Robbie Cadee, said his club was keen to play one of its home fixtures outside of Sydney.
"Coffs Harbour has been very welcoming to our club in the past, and when we had the opportunity to take a Philips Championship game on the road, we were very keen to get up to Coffs," Cadee said.
"It gives us a chance to promote the game outside just the metropolitan centres and give other people a chance to see a full-blooded, full-paced Philips Championship game at the pointy end of the season when competition is hot for playoff berths."