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Keneally in heated debate over basketball promotion

Kristina Keneally,  centre, pictured here with basketballer Lauren Jackson and Canberra Capitals coach Carrie Graf.

Kristina Keneally, centre, pictured here with basketballer Lauren Jackson and Canberra Capitals coach Carrie Graf. Photo: Jay Cronan

Basketball Australia chief executive Kristina Keneally has engaged in a heated debate on social media amid claims not enough is being done to promote the sport.

Keneally defended the decision not to allow the media access to a five-day Boomers camp at the AIS in Canberra starting on Friday.

Asked by two Fairfax Media sports journalists why the sport would not take the opportunity to promote itself in Canberra, the former NSW Premier replied: "Ever stop to think the coaching staff may have other priorities than pleasing the media? Perhaps, focus on training?''

There was a strong response on social media to Keneally's comments, including from basketball fans comparing the lack of publicity for their sport to the boom in soccer, where more than 95,000 fans packed into the MCG on Wednesday night to see Liverpool beat Melbourne Victory 2-0.

The Twitter exchange was started by Canberra Times sports reporter Jon Tuxworth and Illawarra Mercury sports editor Peter Fitzgerald, formerly of The Canberra Times

The 10-man squad that will be in Canberra includes former NBA centre David Andersen, point guard Matthew Dellavedova, who recently played the NBA summer league with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and exciting 18-year-old prospect Dante Exum, who is projected to be a top-five pick in next year’s NBA draft.

A Basketball Australia spokesperson told The Canberra Times on Wednesday they intended to hold media opportunities at the next training camps in the first week of August but not this week.

They will be held leading into the Oceania world championship qualifiers between Australia and New Zealand, with the second game involving a men’s and women’s double header at the AIS on August 18.

Former Basketball Australia media manager Ben Hawes expressed his disgust at Keneally’s comments.

Still embarrassed by comments made by Basketball Australia CEO @KKeneally tonight. As a bball advocate, staggered this is the games leader

As a former BA employee, what a disgraceful tweet. We used to get media on Gems & Rollers thru 2 Boomers! @PeterFitzy @KKeneally @Tuxy81

12 comments

  • I can remember basketball's boom days when the likes of Brian Kerle and Bob Turner were always available to the media because they understood their role in not only promoting the sport but informing the fans about their favourite players. Basketball in this country needs to be welcoming and encouraging media not shutting them out at a time when their National League is struggling for exposure to the point where it could fall over at any time. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth KK those annoying journalists may not be so accommodating when you need the publicity -- which is NOW.

    Commenter
    Ticker
    Location
    Brisbane
    Date and time
    July 25, 2013, 12:25PM
    • I know nothing about Basketball bit I thought any promotion no matter how insignificant could only help any sports popularity and following and more so participation.
      Hark back and look at Keneally's performance in politics and as NSW leader and I would suggest basketball is in trouble.

      Commenter
      NITRO GANGSTER
      Date and time
      July 25, 2013, 12:30PM
      • I agree with Tuxworth and Fitzy. We need better marketing for the sport in Australia. When I was a kid in the 90's there were 16 teams in the NBL, free-to-air TV showed both NBL and NBA, aussie basketball players were as famous as cricketers and footballers. For a hoops fan, it sucks that it's basically a niche sport in this country. It's definitely not the case overseas.

        Commenter
        Passer by
        Date and time
        July 25, 2013, 12:34PM
        • Wow.. Ex-pollies as sports administrators??

          Commenter
          Not Required
          Date and time
          July 25, 2013, 1:04PM
          • Such a poor attitude by Keneally. In the US they are only having mini-camp for the US and they have media opportunities where the last 30 mins of team practice can be viewed by the media. It'd be great to get video footage of the Boomers scrimmaging out and about to interested fans!! Why can't Basketball Australia make the most of opportunities to promote the sport when some of our country's best players are in town. I mean the basketball Australia site is still saying that Ingles is a free agent. HELLO he just signed a new contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv, one of the biggest Euro Teams.

            Commenter
            phil24
            Location
            melbourne
            Date and time
            July 25, 2013, 1:18PM
            • Who was the idiot that put her in charge and I can see she hasn't changed wanting everything for nothing. Then expecting everyone to fall over for her nitro gangster yes you have it right she is an idiot.

              Commenter
              Wayne
              Location
              Brisbane
              Date and time
              July 25, 2013, 1:21PM
              • Like Ticker, I remember the good old days when Bob Turner was ALWAYS promoting the sport. Even in small country towns. In 1979, Cooma Basketball Assoc opened in new stadium and Bob brought down a team of Canons altars to play the locals. - result - a packed stadium and about 850 people playing basketball throughout the 1980s. Nowadays you can't get ANYTHING to promote the sport. Sad!

                Commenter
                Cimpy
                Date and time
                July 25, 2013, 1:33PM
                • Until this I didn't even realise Basketball held camps here in Canberra

                  Commenter
                  Jitterry
                  Location
                  Canberra
                  Date and time
                  July 25, 2013, 4:21PM
                  • Good on Kristina Keneally. It's about time someone told the msm in Australia that it is not all about them.

                    Commenter
                    MJM
                    Date and time
                    July 25, 2013, 5:48PM
                    • Comparing baskeball to soccer is like comparing a molehill to a mountain.
                      One is popular in one country but no where else (probably because it is popular in that one country) and the other is the largest organised sport on earth.
                      If you are looking for parity then compare basketball with baseball. On that measure it's doing ok in Australia.

                      Commenter
                      Padrinio
                      Location
                      Ellivarray
                      Date and time
                      July 25, 2013, 6:04PM

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