Following annual national team visits across Australia and New Zealand to meet with Australian Basketballers’ Association (ABA) members, CEO Jacob Holmes has concluded the visits, with a recent trip to the US to meet with Australian Boomers players.
Having spent the beginning of 2017 catching up with every NBL and WNBL club, the opportunity to meet with Australian players in the NBA was invaluable, according to ABA CEO, Jacob Holmes.
“The purpose of the visit to the US was to engage with the Australian basketball players in the NBA and ensure we continue to establish and reaffirm strong relationships with Australian players in the NBA who are also key members of the Australian Boomers team,” Holmes said.
Holmes caught up with Australia’s NBA Boomers with a key element of the visit to provide information to the players on the state of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) negotiations between the ABA and Basketball Australia, and continued advancement of the Boomers program.
“We had a number of key business priorities to discuss, and it’s important as members they have a voice in the direction of their Association. We obviously value and seek feedback in relation to the upcoming CBA to ensure the players are across the issues and have the opportunity to provide meaningful advice and input.”
“The players appreciate the effort of the ABA to engage with them and their teams face to face. This effort has proven worthwhile with unanticipated and unprecedented access granted with players and NBA team operations.”
Meeting with the players’ NBA teams provides an opportunity to create personal relationships with the players’ NBA teams and establishes the ABA as an organisation that works for the players and has their best interests as its core objective, while also providing an independent point of a contact should the NBA teams need support in Australia regarding their contracted players’ participation in national team activities.
“The ABA’s ‘player focused’ objective aligns with that of the NBA teams and this enabled deeper dialogue on player management, national team engagement and operations, NBA team operations and best practice processes to be shared,” Holmes said.
Holmes said an additional focus of the ABA is to establish greater engagement with female players entering and moving between the WNBA and WNBL. This includes wellbeing resources, pregnancy and parental policy, and addressing the issues facing both female and male players’ partners entering Australia/US. Holmes also said the ABA is committed to further developing social leadership initiatives – an area players have highlighted is a priority.
“We had further discussions with the NBA regarding their involvement in basketball in Australia. We also discussed the need for greater engagement with female players entering the WNBA and WNBL. We aim to take any issue seriously that’s of concern for players and will provide any assistance where possible, while collaboratively working alongside the NBL, Clubs and Basketball Australia to provide that support.”
Across the two weeks in the USA, the ABA met with a number of key sporting organisations, clubs, players and personnel from the National Basketball Players’ Association, the NBA, UCLA, San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, Utah Jazz, Detroit Pistons and Brooklyn Nets.