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Southern Huskies Basketball
In response to the events of the last week we have compiled a list of questions we have been asked and our responses:
1. What the heck is going on down there?
Due to an ongoing dispute with Basketball Tasmania the Hobart Chargers withdrew their application to play in the Victorian-managed Senior Elite league and suspended operations. The withdrawal would have meant that second-tier elite basketball would have been missing for the 2019 season for both Men and Women and most likely never have returned. We were approached by Basketball Tasmania and asked if we would consider applying for the position in the league for both men and women's teams and allowing the continuing development of basketball in Tasmania. After much deliberation we decided that we would be able to fulfill the obligations and sustainably run an elite level team setup and the Hobart Huskies were decided upon as the team name. Basketball Victoria announced our membership of the Victorian-managed Senior Elite League on December 16th.
2. Did the Southern Huskies have any involvement in the decision to put Charger’s operations into voluntary recession?
As David Bartlett said many times in his interviews and press conferences, the decision to suspend the Chargers had nothing to do with the Southern Huskies. The issues between the Chargers and Basketball Tasmania were exactly that. We had no influence or input into the decision making process of the Hobart Chargers or Basketball Tasmania on this issue. We were very happy to run alongside the Chargers.
3. Why did David Bartlett choose not be part of the Huskies?
As David said in his interview he couldn’t wear two hats and devote enough time to each team. We are extremely grateful for his input and wish him all the best in the future. He was offered a role with our organisation and he has made it clear that he doesn’t want to be a part of the long term future of the Huskies but the door is always open for him.
4. Why are you allowed to run an academy but the Chargers weren’t?
The Southern Huskies are not interested in controlling the academy. We will facilitate it, we will support it and it will carry our name as a co-branded academy. We do not know what the issues for the Chargers were, that is a question for them to answer.
5. Why not reach an agreement with the Chargers to absorb the club?
We were very excited at the opportunity to work closely with Chargers and build on their experiences in training, culture and high performance etc. Due to the events of Friday 7th December the opportunity ceased to exist. We will be providing our own opportunity for all the players to continue on their sporting journey with us as they align with our basketball program headed by Anthony Stewart. There is and will be the opportunity for coaching staff, game day volunteers and anyone else who wants to to talk to us about getting involved.
6. Why won’t the Chargers work with Basketball Tasmania but the Southern Huskies will?
The dispute between Basketball Tasmania and the Hobart Chargers is exactly that, a dispute between them. It has never had anything to do with the Southern Huskies. We are willing to work with all Basketball associations to ensure the future of basketball in Tasmania.
7. What are you doing for Women’s basketball?
The Hobart Huskies will have a women’s team in the Victorian-managed Senior Elite League. Having worked through all these issues over the past week, we are very excited about the prospect of the women’s program and their competitiveness in the new league. This will now form a key part of our development pathway and the academy which will be open to all. To be perfectly clear, if the Southern Huskies had not got involved to keep Hobart in this league, there would have been no women’s program. It would have ended with the Chargers.
8. Are you receiving financial assistance from Basketball Tasmania?
No. None at all. Financial assistance was never ever, and still hasn’t been, offered, requested or discussed.
9. When did discussions on the application to the Victorian-managed Senior Elite League begin?
Discussions began late in the afternoon of Friday the 7th December. Several hours after the Chargers publicly withdrew from the new league and after the initial approach from Basketball Tasmania that afternoon. Prior to this we had no reason to or intent on entering a team into the league. We had only spoken on the phone, for the very first time, with Basketball Tasmania the week before as protocol dictated that we needed their endorsement for the Southern Huskies to join the Sal’s NBL in New Zealand.
10. Are the Huskies under the control of Basketball Tasmania?
As a business and not an associated club under a constitution, the Southern Huskies are not under the control of Basketball Tasmania and don’t form part of that constitution. We share our Coach Anthony Stewart with Basketball Tasmania as he performs the role of General Manager - Southern Region and heads up the BTAS Huskies Academy.
11. How do the Southern Huskies meet the criteria of the new league when the Chargers felt that they could not?
It was made crystal clear to us from the first conversation that there are number issues we will need to address to comply. At the same time, we were advised that there is a twelve month grace period to work through all these things in order to best integrate into the model of the the new league. Given the time constraints, and the fact that Basketball Victoria were going to release their fixture list in December, we made a commitment to work through, in partnership with with both Victoria and Tasmania, any areas that need to be resolved.
All the clubs in the new league were given this twelve month period. This was not granted to the Southern Huskies as special treatment.
12. What does Anthony Stewart’s appointment as General Manager - Southern Region mean for the Southern Huskies?
Anthony will be heading up the BTAS Huskies Academy as part of our development pathway as well as his role as Coach of the Southern Huskies.
It will be highly beneficial for basketball in the South of the State. Anthony is an dedicated fan, ex-player and title-winning coach and his desire for the basketball to succeed in Tasmania cannot be questioned. His plans for the development of players at all ages and levels and his own desire to coach at an elite level will help to ensure the Southern Huskies and Basketball Tasmania are on the pathway to success.
13. Are you still aiming for the Australian NBL?
Yes absolutely, our main target is to get the Southern Huskies to the Australian NBL. This is a large project and one that we are constantly moving towards in a sustainable timeline for all parties.