The Tasmania JackJumpers are plotting the future of Tasmanian basketball by honouring its past.
The new franchise, which is set to join the NBL next season, has announced the formation of a 'Bloodlines' group bringing together people from across the state's basketball communities.
JackJumpers head coach Scott Roth said the concept seeks to celebrate Tasmanian basketball's proud history and recognise the important contribution made in building the game across the state.
"Since I've been in this role and moved around Tasmania I've been struck by the rich heritage of basketball in the state," the American said.
"There are so many people who have contributed to making the game what it is here today.
"We want to bring them together and recognise their enormous contribution but also harness their incredible skills and knowledge as we build an NBL team that all Tasmania can be part of and be proud of."
Roth added: "We want to connect the history of Tasmanian basketball to this exciting new era for the game in the state and ensure we work together as basketball continues to go from strength to strength."
The initial members of the JackJumpers Bloodlines are:
- 1. Ben Armstrong
- 2. Sam Armstrong
- 3. Brennan Stanwix
- 4. Brett Smith
- 5. Anthony Stewart
- 6. Darren Smith
- 7. Kathy Foster
- 8. Mark Chivers
- 9. Peter Mann
- 10. Willie Joseph
- 11. Sarah Veale
- 12. Phil Thomas
JackJumpers chief executive Simon Brookhouse said the group would continue to expand to recognise further contributions.
"There are so many men and women who've played such a key role in developing the game in Tasmania," Brookhouse said.
"It's important that we not just recognise them but make them feel they are part of this club and exciting journey ahead for Tasmanian basketball."
Those on the list said they were thrilled to be part of the JackJumpers project.
Launceston-born Kathy Foster, who played for the national team between 1981 and 1988, competing at the 1984 Olympic Games and two World Championships, said: "I am really excited that NBL basketball is returning to Tasmania.
"Scott Roth has been a breath of fresh air and has been working hard to ensure that Tasmanian basketball history is acknowledged and that staff and recruits to the JackJumpers are exposed to past players, coaches etc and their stories.
It's great to be given a chance to participate in Tassie's next basketball venture1984 Olympian Kathy Foster
"Personally it has been really great to be acknowledged and to be given a chance to participate in Tassie's next basketball venture. I loved playing the game and hope that the Bloodlines project and the JackJumpers inspire young players to work hard to reach the top level in this great sport."
Two-time NBL champ[ion Anthony Stewart said it would be "an absolute privilege" to be part of the inaugural Bloodlines group.
"I am excited to be part of supporting our very own NBL team and being involved in the sport that has given me so much over many years," he said.
"I call on all Tasmanians to get behind our JackJumpers as we unite as one to compete in the NBL. The return of NBL to Tasmania will fast-track the already rapid growth of basketball across the community and provide young people with aspirations to become the next JackJumper."
Veteran Launceston coach Brett Smith, who has just returned from taking the state under-20 boys' team away to nationals in Mackay, said it was an honour to be a part of the Bloodlines.
"The Jackjumpers are doing a fantastic job embracing all parts of our fantastic state," Smith said.
"There are exciting times ahead for Tasmanian Basketball."
Former North-West Thunder coach Sam Armstrong added: "The moment Scott touched down in Tasmania he reached out with his intention for the Bloodlines group.
"It was evident he was keen to explore and work with the history of basketball in Tasmania as they build the JackJumpers program.
"So it is very exciting to play a small role in supporting that."