The Deakin Melbourne Boomers have eyes only for the very top in the hope of building an event that the Wattle Valley WNBL will be proud to highlight as a key fixture every season, identifying the AFL’s Anzac Day clash between Essendon and Collingwood as an outstanding event they hope to emulate in women’s basketball.
Though the State Basketball Centre (3200) has a capacity well below that of the MCG, Boomers General Manager, Justin Nelson, says it’s the creation of a standalone event that attracts interest from all basketball supporters that his club is after and a big Melbourne derby between the Boomers and Rangers on the eve of Australia Day provides the perfect setting.
“The Deakin Melbourne Boomers take great pride in promoting events and providing entertainment for every person who walks into the stadium,” said Nelson, adding, “We want the eve of Australia Day to become a regular fixture in the WNBL and for all lovers of the game to see it as a night out for the whole basketball community.”
When selecting the best opponent for the creation of his WNBL Australia Day Eve Blockbuster, the Boomers GM looked no further than nearby rival, Dandenong.
“I can’t think of a bigger rivalry in the league than that of a Boomers and Rangers clash, so it made sense to request we play them on this big night. Thankfully the league agreed with the Australia Day Eve concept and also the opponent.”
As the nation prepares to celebrate Australia Day this year, Nelson wants basketball fans to know the WNBL will be starting festivities with a cracking showdown at the State Basketball Centre the night before.
“The Anzac Day clash in the AFL is more than just the game, it is a community event on a really significant day for our nation. Australia Day is also an important day for all of us, it’s a time to stand up and proud of who we are, what we have and to show the values we all hold as Australians.
“The WNBL is a high quality competition and Australia is the second-ranked nation in women’s basketball, so I can’t think of a better time to celebrate our league and our outstanding female basketballers.
“We want January 25, the eve of Australia Day, to belong to the WNBL and to a game featuring the Deakin Melbourne Boomers in an annual fixture everyone looks forward to. Every sport out there is looking for their own slice of the Australian sporting calendar and hopefully this is the first of many annual Australia Day Eve games for us and it helps pave the way for the WNBL to own January 25 each year.
“And I say dream big. How good would it be to have a WNBL game live on television across the nation in the evening each year on January 25? That’s what we are aiming for, we want this fantastic women’s sport to be beamed around the country on the eve of Australia Day each year. That’s the plan, but first we have to prove it will work and that people will support it, so grab the family and come and be a part of something special on Monday January 25,” added Nelson.
To help promote the Boomers first Australia Day Eve Blockbuster they are providing free entry to all children (17 & under) who wear their club colours to the game – singlet or warm-up top. All clubs and associations across Melbourne and Victoria are encouraged to promote the game and encourage their junior players to wear their colours.
“We want to celebrate this event and make it the biggest game of the regular season, so every child who wears their colours, be it their local club or their local association, will get into this huge game for free. Be proud, wear your colours, represent your team and come and see the Boomers and Rangers in action,” said Nelson.
WHAT: Australia Day Eve Blockbuster
WHO: Deakin Melbourne Boomers vs Dandenong Rangers
WHEN: Monday January 25
WHERE: State Basketball Centre (Wantirna South)
TIME: 7:30pm tip-off
PROMO: Every child (17&under) wearing their club/association colours receives free entry – general admission
TICKETS: at the door or online at www.trybooking.com/HLXE