By BACT Media Unit

With the end of our Coles Express NBL1 campaign for 2023, focus for some of our local stars now turns towards the upcoming NBL and WNBL season.

Departing Canberra Nationals Head Coach (and BACT Life Member), Natalie Hurst will return to the Adelaide Lightning in 2023/2024, looking to build on her debut season at the helm in 2022/23. The Lightning – who finished 7th (5-16) last season – have recruited Canberra Nationals stars Lizzy Tonks and Issie Bourne for the upcoming season. Lizzy (who made her WNBL debut with the UC Capitals in 2022/23) and Issie (who returned to Canberra from the University of Nebraska in 2023), will get the opportunity to continue working with Coach Hurst.

Canberra Nationals’ team-mate, Chloe Tugliach has been rewarded with an upgrade to the main squad of the UC Capitals, after making her WNBL debut in 2022/23 as a Development Player. While the 2022/23 WNBL season ended with an injury, Chloe made an impact late in the NBL1 season, and will be in peak condition heading into WNBL.

Meanwhile COE Graduate, BACT U20 rep (and Australian Boomer), Alex Toohey, will make his professional debut a little closer to home, with his signing to the Sydney Kings, as part of their Next Star program in the NBL this season.

Alex will have a somewhat familiar face on the side-line, as ACT U18 Assistant Coach, Campbell Quinn, has been selected as an Intern Coach for the Sydney Kings program in 2023/24. The coaching opportunity with Sydney Kings will see Campbell assisting in warm up and recovery, set up and pack down of trainings and game day operations. Additionally, the role will see Campbell assisting individual and group workouts. Off the court, the role requires coaches to gather, organise, and interpret statistical data using analysis software with the coding and filming of practices and games. 

After several years in the ACT, and working his way from novice coach to Assistant Coach of the U18 rep program, under Deb Cook and Vivek Gupta, Campbell is excited about further developing his coaching knowledge.

“It’s a great opportunity obviously Sydney Kings are the pinnacle of basketball in Australia right now being back-to-back champs and we’re looking for a third one this year. I am there to learn from really experienced high level coaches that are the best at what they do whilst also solidifying my learnings and knowledge to put into practice.”

With so many more of our players, coaches, referees and local juniors heading into the top-tier of basketball in our country, including former Gunners’ Bul Kuol (Cairns Taipans) and Akech Aliir (Adelaide 36’ers), and Alex Bunton (UC Capitals), we will all be watching eagerly and cheering for all of our stars in 2023/2024.