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— Ben Hawes (@Ben_Hawes) July 24, 2013
Still embarrassed by comments made by Basketball Australia CEO @KKeneally tonight. As a bball advocate, staggered this is the games leader