Big season ahead: Players and coaching staff of all NBL teams pose during the 2013/14 NBL Media Season Launch at The Entertainment Quarter in Sydney. Photo: Getty Images
New National Basketball League chief executive Fraser Neill has declared the rebuilding competition can become stronger than it was in its heyday.
Former rugby union and racing administrator Neill was announced as the new CEO on Wednesday, just a day out from the 2013-2014 season opener and less than a week after the NBL completed its demerger from Basketball Australia.
The league is now run by the clubs and private owners, with each having a 50 per cent stake in the competition, as they attempt to recapture the market share the NBL enjoyed at its height in the early 1990s.
Neill said he was excited to steer the NBL in a new direction and make the most of the opportunity to build the sport into one of the biggest in Australia.
"Basketball is one of those sports that's a world game and the potential to grow it in this country is fantastic," said Neill.
"I'm really happy to be a part of it going forward.
"The biggest challenge is to get that confidence into basketball and back to where it was in the halcyon days.
"And I think we can go beyond that."
While the NBL remains at eight teams for this season, Neill was hopeful of adding a ninth - from Brisbane - by next campaign.
Neill comes into the role after two years working in the private sector.
He was previously CEO of NSW Rugby Union (2004-2007) and was tournament director for the International Rugby Board, where he was responsible for establishing the Rugby sevens series and delivering the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia.
He has also held senior management roles within the Australian Jockey Club and New Zealand rugby.
The NBL's interim chief executive Stephen Dunn will move into a new role as executive director.