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Bullets NBL nursery unveiled by Kerle

A pathway to the NBL for juniors has been unveiled by four-time championship-winning coach Brian Kerle in Brisbane.


But Kerle admits it remains to be seen whether a Brisbane consortium can do the same for the Bullets.

The Brian Kerle Basketballtek Academy will throw its doors open in May, offering 12-month programs for athletes preferably aged 17-21 in a bid to stop juniors being lost to rival sports such as AFL.

Kerle said, ideally, the academy could double as a nursery for the Bullets but did not want to make any promises about a NBL return.

Kerle has kept in regular contact with new NBL chairman Graham Wade and invited him to attend a Thursday night public meeting at the Pineapple Hotel where he hopes to rally support for a new Bullets bid.

Kerle said – in an ideal situation – the Bullets would end their seven-year exile from the league next season but did not want to string long-suffering fans along.

“Things are progressing,” said Kerle of the “Bring Back the Bullets” consortium.

“We are not promising to bring the Bullets back, but we will give it our best shot.

“We are exploring every avenue.”

Negotiations between the NBL and millionaire businessman Paul Bendat – the son of Perth Wildcats owner Jack, who was interested in funding Brisbane’s return to the national competition – fell through earlier this month.

But Kerle managed to organise a new consortium, a business plan and a budget which he hoped received more financial backers at Thursday night’s meeting.

“Our aim is the next season; they have been seven years out – one year is too long,” Kerle said.

“But it will take a huge effort – everyone has to get involved in this.

“People have been promised a lot in the last few years under different circumstances.

“One thing I don’t want people to hear is ‘Brian Kerle promises to get the Bullets back’.

“But we’ve got to get it together and get them in – the people here want it.”

Kerle said Queensland juniors were being lost to sports such as AFL during the Bullets’ NBL absence.

He hoped his academy would help turn that around.

“That’s the biggest problem. There is nowhere in southeast Queensland to aim for (as a junior basketballer),” Kerle said.

“There’s the (AFL’s) Lions and the Suns but there is nowhere to go if you want to play basketball.”


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