NBL1 East Team Introduction – Central Coast Crusaders
RECENTLY, the National Basketball League (NBL)1 announced the introduction of a league based on the eastern seaboard, as they expanded their work across Australia. With the Australian basketball system producing more talent than ever, it was a justified move, as the eastern league joins the NBL1 North, NBL1 South, NBL1 Central and NBL1 West as the competitions spread out across Australia.
The league will be made up of 12 teams from the eastern shores of Australia, with many coming from the Waratah 1 competition. The NBL1 has shown this competition allows teams to take their respective games to the next level, and the teams entering NBL1 East will be looking to do the same. In this series, we introduce you to the 12 sides who will be taking the court in the league’s inaugural season in 2022. Next up on the agenda are the Central Coast Crusaders.
New South Wales’ Central Coast has been subtly growing their sporting culture for the best part of two decades, with their A-League soccer side gaining most of the attention in recent years. However, they have also been developing their basketball community, becoming one of the premier organizations in country New South Wales.
The Crusaders first launched in 2006, where they replaced the Central Coast Power in the Waratah League and entered the competition under the new brand. The team was unable to find success throughout their early years, and while they steadily improved, they endured a decade without achieving the ultimate success.
This changed in 2019, where the team was able to put together their strongest season in club history, as they advanced to the grand final. In this match, they were able to triumph over the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles in a thrilling contest, emerging victorious by two points to claim the first championship in their 13-year history.
They will be looking to re-capture this form with the Waratah League rebranding as the NBL1 East, and with a similar list to their championship year, they look to be a strong chance to do so.
The organization also entered a women’s side to the Waratah League in 2018, and this team will be just as motivated to start strongly in the new competition. The side has struggled to deliver consistently positive performances, but a fresh start may be just what they need to kickstart this process.
If both sides can find success throughout the season, expect Breakers Indoor Sports Stadium to start rocking in the 2022 season.
Photo: Central Coast Crusaders