The Launceston Basketball Association's Senior Men's competition kicks off this week at Elphin Sports Centre.
After a COVID19-shortened season that saw City Rockets take out the premiership, the league is heading back to its original 20-round season and looks to be hotly-contested between the four competing teams.
LBA will also be showcasing their division two women's competition on Wednesday nights with teams from City Rockets, Devils, Rebels, Japara Renegades and Trojans.
The division one women's competition will begin on May 12, with a nine-round competition showcasing the best Launceston women's basketballers.
The LBA's division two and three men's competitions will be played on Thursday nights.
Glory League will be a part of the LBA. A fully automated cost-effective video engagement system for amateur basketball, it makes everyday players feel like NBA superstars with professional quality full game video, personal highlight reels and stats.
LBA's senior men's competition looks set for an explosive first round as Southside Rebels take on South East Launceston Devils at 6.30pm, followed by City of Launceston Rockets coming up against the young Japara Renegades at 8pm.
City of Launceston Rockets
Coach - Brett Smith
Ins - Ben Rigby
Outs - Marshall Evans, Troy Schaeche
The reigning premiers and clear season favourites have combined the two teams they entered from 2020, making them a force to be reckoned with. Coach Brett Smith said: "The team is a very dedicated young group that averages an age of 19." They will look to cover the loss of last year's captain Troy Schaeche with the likes of reigning MVP Sejr Deans, Lachie Brewer and Ben Rigby. They then add to their depth with young and athletic players Lachlan Maynard and Harry Flint.
Coach - Ty Stewart
Ins - Hugh King, Joshua Guy, James Newsum, Joel Watson
Outs - Cameron Downie, Bradley Templar, Ben Donati
Runners-up in the shortened 2020 season, Rebels will be looking to go one better in 2021. Hugh King will look to return to the form that saw him average 27 points a game in 2019, after his 2020 season was derailed by a nasty ankle injury. Coach Ty Stewart said Rebels are stoked with King's return but "unfortunately have to cover the losses of Cam Downie due to retirement and Brad Templar". Stewart is hoping these will be off-set by the recruitment of Josh Guy, Joel Watson and James Newsum. However, the big question mark will be over an aging list of players.
South-East Launceston Devils
Coach - Zoe Mesman
Ins - Marshall Evans, Jackson Lowe, Hayden Zasadny, Jamie Mesman
Outs - Jack Rathmell
The South East Launceston Devils men are looking forward to hitting the court after deciding that the amended COVID season wasn't a viable option in case of injuries and other restrictions. The men are looking forward to jumping back on the court to see if the season off has helped spark passion back for the game. The team is excited to welcome back Jamie Mesman to the front court who will bring leadership, hunger for the ball and a scoring power. Throw in Marshall Evans who plays with great energy, hustle and determination, and other teams will need to be wary of the ball pressure that will be applied.
Coach - Brayden Appleby
Ins - N/A
Outs - Hayden Zasadny, Jackson Lowe, Ben Rigby
Japara will look to make some noise with an entirely new mix of young players that are sure to give the more experienced teams a run for their money. Brayden Appleby returns to coach the side for the first time in five years and said: "They have a very lively bunch of young guys, some of which haven't played senior basketball before, but will have some surprise packages in there." Appleby also commended Basketball Tasmania and the Launceston Basketball Association for their work during the COVID-interrupted season and looks forward to building for the future.