The Byron Bay Beez slammed the Ballina Breakers 96–52 on Saturday night to win the first game of the new Sunshine Basketball Conference.
The game was played at the ‘Bee-Hive’, the Cavanbah Centre in Byron Bay, and was a ‘fantastic success’ according to Beez manager Bret Madden.
‘We were trying to make it something for friends and family as well, a real event so they could enjoy the whole proceedings,’ he said.
The first-up win in the Sunshine Conference gives the team good momentum going into the new three-month, four-team competition.
Lismore and Grafton round out the conference with Bellingen, Casino and Tweed Heads on schedule to enter teams in the future.
The new competition is a streamlined version of the NSW Basketball Northern Rivers competition that includes teams as far south as Port Macquarie.
The local teams had financial and time problems putting together teams who could compete in this comp due to the travel requirements, he said.
‘The new Sunshine Conference means a lot more locally based players can have access to premiership level competition’, Bret said.
It was also about making sure younger players could see a playing pathway into the future. ‘It is good for them to see A-grade adults playing. All the clubs are doing a lot for junior development at the moment, but Byron has the momentum. We are raising the bar and the others are joining us,’ Bret said.
In the long term the new competition could field its own representative team in the short term it is just about having fun.