Dwight Hicks
Dwight Hicks

Ipswich clash for NBL stars

LIKE many regional basketball fans, Dwight Hicks is keen to see a National Basketball League team back in south east Queensland.

So he's excited Ipswich is hosting an NBL pre-season game between the Sydney Kings and Perth Wildcats at Booval on Thursday night.

The 7pm standalone match comes after Ipswich hosted a successful game last season between the Cairns Taipans NBL squad and elite American college team St Mary's Gaels.

Ipswich Force state league women's assistant coach Hicks was thrilled to be involved in organising the latest big match in the city.

"We've always got our hand up if they want to have games here," Hicks said.

"It's been good to get the NBL teams up here to play.

"We had a great crowd for that last year (the Cairns-St Mary's game)."

Hicks said the more support and investment put into big matches, the better chance south east Queensland had of securing another NBL team.

Thursday night's encounter at Ipswich stadium is a lead-up to the second annual NBL Pre-Season Blitz series starting on Friday night at Auchenflower.

The Blitz tournament teams will be competing for the Loggins-Bruton Cup after the Perth Wildcats claimed the inaugural prize in Sydney.

However, for Ipswich, this week's pre-season match is an excellent chance to see some of Australia's best players in action while supporting the push for a new NBL side.

"They are trying to drum up support in the regional communities so there's support there for the NBL and they want to move forward with bringing a team back," Hicks said.

"It's certainly a stepping stone towards showing that it is viable to have something in south east Queensland."

Hicks is hopeful Thursday night's game attracts leading Kings and Wildcats players.

"We've got a bunch of guys in the New Zealand team who have only just got back from the world championships so it will good," he said.

Ipswich basketball is hosting a junior clinic on Sunday involving players from the New Zealand Breakers team which is also in Brisbane for the Blitz series.

The clinic is scheduled for 9.30am-11am.

Ipswich coaches Brad George and Terry Lindeberg will oversee the clinic, in conjunction with the NBL visitors.

Key match

Tickets for Thursday night's pre-season NBL game are available at Ipswich stadium, in Ross Llewellyn Drive, Booval.

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