The Adelaide 36ers are taking on the management of the MAC Adelaide Lightning on behalf of Basketball Australia for the next two years after the club was managed by Basketball South Australia last season.
“This is a fantastic move for women’s basketball in South Australia and we are pleased to see the Adelaide 36ers take on the Lightning for the next two seasons,” said Mark Hubbard, CEO of Basketball SA.
Echoing this sentiment from General Manager of Competitions at Basketball Australia, Paul Maley added, “The Adelaide Lightning is an iconic brand in its own right and an integral part of one of the greatest female professional sporting leagues in the world – the WNBL.
“We couldn’t be happier with the decision of the Adelaide 36ers.”
The Lightning is the equal-oldest surviving club in the WNBL, having been formed in 1981 and their six Championships (five as the Lightning) place them second among current teams only behind the University of Canberra Capitals.
Adelaide 36ers CEO Guy Hedderwick expressed enthusiasm to take on the management of the Lightning.
“This is a great opportunity for us to bring the WNBL into our activities with the NBL and the Adelaide 36ers,” he said.
Chris Lucas, who has been named as the head coach of the MAC Adelaide Lightning following two consecutive Championships with Townsville, is also thrilled about this development.
“I’m excited with the new direction and future for the Adelaide Lightning. It’s really important for the pathways for South Australian girls who have the opportunity to play for the Lightning in the future.”
Having coached Adelaide to three consecutive finals campaigns from 2004-07, Lucas returns as one of the Lightning’s more successful coaches amongst other names such as four-time Champion Jan Stirling as well as Vicki Valk (nee Daldy).
Last season, Australian Opal Leilani Mitchell represented the Lightning on the court alongside stars including Kelly Bowen and Kayla Standish while the side has already been bolstered for the upcoming 2016/17 season by the inclusion of Opal Laura Hodges.
The Motor Accident Commission (MAC) Chief Executive Officer, Aaron Chia added, “MAC is proud to continue a partnership with one of the state’s most successful sporting clubs, the MAC Adelaide Lightning.
“Sport plays a pivotal role in connecting communities and by working with Adelaide Basketball, we can share important road safety messages with players, supporters and the wider community.
“Education is a key component of MAC’s approach to reducing road trauma and using respected sports stars to help achieve this through their coaching clinics and community engagement programs is a highly effective way for MAC to engage with even more audiences,” said Mr Chia.
“We wouldn’t be in a position to take on the management of the Lightning without the continued support of MAC,” said Hedderwick.
“They bring a strong partnership with the team and we are looking forward to developing a great relationship with them.
“I want to thank in particular Mark Hubbard from BSA for the tireless work he put into making this possible.
“We did this because we passionately believe in the brand, South Australia as a state deserving of an elite female team as well as equality in sport.”
For further information visit www.adelaidelightning.com.au or call 08 8345 0900.
For further media information or to request an interview contact
Julie Meddows on 0407 930 707 or Julie.Meddows@Adelaide36ers.com