Southern Huskies
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Southern Huskies
Southern Huskies
Southern Huskies logo
LeagueNational Basketball League
FoundedDecember 2018
FoldedAugust 2019
Team coloursMidnight Blue, Violet Purple, Jungle Green               

The Southern Huskies were an Australian basketball team based in Tasmania that played one season in the New Zealand National Basketball League.

Franchise history

Hobart Chargers and Australian NBL hopes

In 2016, sights were set on an Australian NBL franchise returning to Tasmania,[1] with the state having no representation in the national league since the demise of the Hobart Devils in 1996. Former Tasmanian premier David Bartlett became the president of the Hobart Chargers, a fledgling SEABL club in dire financial strain.[1] Bartlett's immediate aim was to have the club be "NBL ready" in three years and win least one championship over those three years.[2] Additionally, he secured a deal which saw basketball in Hobart return to its spiritual home, the Derwent Entertainment Centre.[3] For more than a decade, the Chargers had played at the Hobart Netball and Sports Centre.[4] Bartlett also had a vision of averaging 3,000 fans for SEABL matches.[3]

In 2018, basketball was considered on the rise in Tasmania, with the popularity of the sport hitting peak interest for the first time since the 1990s during the halcyon days of the Hobart Devils.[5] In July, 3,000 fans turned out to watch the state's four SEABL teams do battle in a double header at the Derwent Entertainment Centre.[5] Then in August, the Chargers men's team won the SEABL championship.[6]

Getting the Chargers out of debt was one thing but leveraging the club's transformation into a fully fledged bid for a Tasmanian NBL team was another.[5] Around that two-month period of July and August 2018, plans to get the Chargers into the NBL morphed into an overarching Tasmanian bid for a proposed new franchise to be called Southern Huskies.[5] The NBL bid and its NBA-style branding was well received upon being unveiled, with born-and-bred Tasmanian, and former Devils player, Justin Hickey deciding to back the team financially as franchise owner.[5] At the crux of his proposal was the Derwent Entertainment Centre, having made an unsolicited bid to buy the arena and renovate it.[5] The Huskies bid for an Australian NBL licence was delayed in October, when Hickey's bid to acquire the Derwent Entertainment Centre was rejected.[7] Furthermore, the league believed there were several hurdles to Tasmania's bid, including the potentially small television audience and the expensive cost of broadcasting games, as well as the lack of local corporate sponsorship opportunities.[8] As a result, the Australian NBL licence for the 2019-20 season instead went to the South East Melbourne Phoenix.[9]

New Zealand NBL

In November 2018, reports began to surface that the Southern Huskies would be entering the New Zealand NBL in 2019, with the Huskies viewing the New Zealand league as a launch pad to the Australian NBL and the stronger competition more appealing than the various Australian state leagues.[9][10][11] The inclusion, while an exciting one for the New Zealand league, did present a number of unprecedented challenges for the competition, with flights to Tasmania problematic for New Zealand's less financially well-off franchises, while double or triple-headers on New Zealand trips for the Huskies were a looming issue.[9] Despite these concerns, NBL chairman Iain Potter said the move had the support of the existing eight franchises.[10]

On 5 December 2018, a five-year contract was signed between the New Zealand NBL and the Southern Huskies,[12] marking the first time in New Zealand sporting history that an overseas team had joined a New Zealand owned league.[13] The 2019 season saw each New Zealand team visit Tasmania to play the Huskies at least once, while the Huskies played every New Zealand team in New Zealand as well, playing double-headers each time they crossed the Tasman. As part of the agreement, the Huskies assisted with the cost for New Zealand teams to travel to Tasmania to play, with the NBL Board not wanting to increase the New Zealand teams' expenses through this move.[14] The Huskies' nine home games in 2019 were split between the Derwent Entertainment Centre in Hobart and the Silverdome in Launceston.[7][15] Their inaugural season in the NBL saw the Huskies miss the post-season with a fifth-place finish and a 9-9 record.[16]

On 27 June 2019, the Huskies announced that they would rebrand as the Tasmanian Huskies for the 2020 season in order to remove any stigma of a division within the state.[17] This announcement came days after it was revealed that any new team from the state in the Australian NBL must be branded Tasmanian.[17] However, on 9 August 2019, the Huskies withdrew from the New Zealand NBL after they claimed their relationship with Basketball Tasmania became untenable.[18]


On 17 December 2018, following the Hobart Chargers' decision to withdraw from the Victorian-managed NBL1, an affiliate program known as the Hobart Huskies was entered into the NBL1 by the Southern Huskies organisation.[19] In conjunction with the Southern Huskies withdrawing from the New Zealand NBL on 9 August 2019, the organisation also abolished their Hobart Huskies NBL1 teams after one season.[18]

Current roster

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.


  1. ^ a b Thomas-Wilson, Simeon (20 September 2016). "Former premier David Bartlett takes over as Hobart Chargers president". Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ Smith, Adam (29 November 2016). "New look Hobart Chargers hit DEC with high hopes". Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ a b Smith, Adam (25 November 2016). "Hobart Chargers set to return to the Derwent Entertainment Centre". Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ Smith, Adam (23 September 2016). "Chargers seek new home court with possibility of a return to the DEC or Kingborough Sports Centre". Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Rowbottom, Chris (1 August 2018). "Tasmania's bid to secure a team in the NBL riding an unprecedented popularity in the game". Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ "HOBART CHARGERS' DEFENCE SEES THEM WIN 2018 GRAND FINAL". 21 August 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ a b Mallis, Ben (5 December 2018). "Southern Huskies join New Zealand NBL, sign Harry Froling". Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ Rowbottom, Chris (8 August 2018). "Hurdles emerge for Southern Huskies' NBL bid, as 2019 season start looks unlikely". Retrieved 2018.
  9. ^ a b c Anderson, Niall (26 November 2018). "Basketball: Tasmania's Southern Huskies set to join New Zealand National Basketball League". Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Tasmanian franchise eyeing place in New Zealand's National Basketball League". 27 November 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ "SOUTHERN HUSKIES SET TO COMPETE IN NZNBL". 28 November 2018. Retrieved 2019.
  12. ^ Anderson, Niall (5 December 2018). "Basketball: Southern Huskies confirmed to join New Zealand NBL". Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ "AUSTRALIA'S SOUTHERN HUSKIES SIGNED TO JOIN SAL'S NBL IN 2019". 5 December 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ "Australian team joins New Zealand basketball league". 5 December 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ McGuane, Jarryd (5 December 2018). "Bragg joins Huskies New Zealand NBL journey". Retrieved 2018.
  16. ^ "STATEMENT: SOUTHERN HUSKIES OUT OF ALL COMPETITIONS". 9 August 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  17. ^ a b Smith, Adam (27 June 2019). "The Huskies will incorporate Tasmania into their official name for next year's New Zealand NBL". Retrieved 2019.
  18. ^ a b Smith, Adam (9 August 2019). "Basketball bombshell as Southern Huskies withdraw from NZNBL and NBL1". Retrieved 2019.
  19. ^ "Hobart Huskies to join Senior Elite League". 17 December 2018. Retrieved 2018.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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