Hills Raiders Basketball Association is joining WABL in 2019!

After working with Basketball WA (BWA) for the past couple of years to highlight the benefits of including Hills Raiders Basketball Association (HRBA) in the Western Australian Basketball League (WABL) competition, we received notification on 20 August 2018 that, after a long and detailed WABL Review conducted through 2017/18, BWA will be accepting Hills Raiders teams into the 2019 WABL competition.

The process involved numerous meetings between HRBA and BWA officials that considered our capacity to join the competition and our intent to be a competitive member and progress the sport.  In the official notification from BWA, their Assistant Competition Manager, Darrsh Clarke shared “…(we) are convinced that your entry to the competition is a step in the right direction, not only for the League, but for Basketball in Western Australia.”

“This is a fantastic result, the culmination of many years of hard work by HRBA and I am very proud to have been part of the growth of basketball in the Hills”, said HRBA President Bob Little.  “Being a key community partner in the development of the Mundaring Arena, spending years creating a framework and providing the resources to develop our players and, now, to have been invited to join WABL, these are activities that are shaping our community and we are very excited about what the future holds.”

While the push to join WABL has been more focussed over the past couple of years, HRBA has been working towards WABL inclusion for the last 30 years, with the final hurdle – a state-of-the-art indoor sporting facility – achieved this year when the Mundaring Arena opened.  Over the past 25 years we have delivered a range of basketball activities focussed on developing both the sport and our players in the Mundaring Hills.  These have included Miniball, Tri-Series competitions with Swan and Kalamunda, a school’s program for local primary schools and, of course, our very successful domestic competition on Tuesday and Friday nights which saw nearly 1400 players over the 2017/18 summer season.  Our strong domestic competition was a key consideration in the BWA Review.

This is an exciting time for HRBA and basketball in the Hills.  Hamish Massie (aged 13), from Gidgegannup said “I have been playing here for seven years, Hills Raiders is a great community association, basketball games bring people together and it has a great atmosphere that is lots of fun.  Basketball is a great sport and it helps young people to develop lots of life skills such as team work, commitment, communication, fitness, leadership and sportsmanship.”

Our entry into WABL will be a phased process, beginning with Under 12s and Under 14s in 2019, expanding annually.  “This is going to be great for us.  It allows us to build on the work done over the past couple of years to develop our junior players and be competitive at WABL from the start.” said HRBA State Championship Team Coordinator, Deb White-Kiely.  “WABL is a step-up from domestic competition and our players will be competing against the best in their age group across the metropolitan area and the Bunbury region, and we have the talent locally to be serious contenders.’’

HRBA will be working closely with BWA to ensure that we are ready to go by the 2018 State Champs and the 2019 WABL Grading tournament. We will be holding tryouts for our State Champ teams in late September, which will assist us with player selection for the 2019 HRBA WABL teams (U12s and U14s).

For more information please contact Hills Raiders at hillsraiders1@bigpond.com.

Click HERE to read the Basketball WA media announcement.