Keilor Thunder headed to NBL1 South

Ellen Kett. Picture Shawn Smits

Tara Murray

Keilor Thunder is officially making the move to the NBL1 South competition for next season.

The Thunder along with Casey Basketball Association were announced as the competition’s two new teams on Friday.

The Thunder will be the first western suburbs team in the competition that formed in 2019.

Thunder coaching director and men’s coach Liam Glascott recently told the Star Weekly that the club had put in an application and had been working towards making the step up.

Keilor Basketball Association general manager Paul Rovis said the club was thrilled to be accepted into the competition.

“As the pre-eminent association in Melbourne’s west, our objective is to provide the best opportunities to develop and nurture basketballers in our broader community,” he said.

“Being a part of NBL1 provides a pathway for our junior stars to aspire to and a prominent stage for our current stars to shine.”

The Thunder had previously played in the SEABL, which was replaced by the NBL1 competitions, from 1991-1996.

This year the club’s Big V men’s championship side was on top of the ladder when the season ended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Their women’s side made the grand final in 2019.

Basketball Victoria chief executive Nick Honey said the addition of Casey and Keilor to NBL1 South competition highlights the growth of Victorian basketball.

“Casey and Keilor have been exceptional associations during their time in Victorian basketball and it is very satisfying to see them both earn NBL1 South licences,” Honey said.

“It is incredibly important to Basketball Victoria and NBL1 to see associations shine across their ranks, not just on the court, which the Cavaliers and Thunder have done over a number of years, but also in the community and developing sustainable pathways.

“We look forward to seeing NBL1 South return in 2022 with fans filling up Casey Stadium and Keilor Basketball Stadium on game night.”

The NBL1 South season is scheduled to tip off in April.