Next stop, Geelong: United acquires WNBL license

May 10, 2024 BY

Geelong United juniors (front L-R) Jasmine King, Jolissa Carriedo, Kensi King and NBL1 player Poppy Stevens, joined by (back L-R) Megan Moody, Mayor Trent Sullivan, Connie Bolger, Vicki King. Photo: MONIKA BERRY

THE Geelong community can look forward to supporting another elite-level sporting team, as early as this year, following Geelong United Basketball Association’s acquisition of a WNBL license.

The association’s new WNBL license, purchased by a Geelong-based consortium from league foundation club Melbourne Boomers, was confirmed by Geelong United and Basketball Australia this morning (Friday, May 10).

The announcement means Geelong United will begin play as soon as next season, providing a full pathway for female basketballers in the region.

Geelong United Basketball chief executive officer Mark Neeld said he was ecstatic for the future opportunities a Geelong-based WNBL team would bring female athletes across the region.

“The profile of women’s sport as a whole is on a dramatic rise, and locally we’ve seen so many of these women doing great things, particularly in basketball with the NBL1.

“We of course see the growth in basketball first-hand, and want to reward our hard working female athletes with another amazing opportunity to play sport at the highest level right here in their own backyard.”


The WNBL has hosted matches inside The Geelong Arena in recent years. Photo: MARCEL BERENS/SPORTS MEDIA IMAGES


Head of WNBL Christy Collier-Hill welcomed Geelong United Basketball into the league.

“This is a great day for the WNBL, we have been working with Geelong United Basketball for some time and we are delighted to be able to announce their inclusion in the League,” she said.

“Season 2024-25 is going to be so exciting for the fans and we know that Geelong will really get behind their team. There has never been a better time for women’s sport with more fans than ever before.

“This is a great investment for Geelong United Basketball and we look forward to working together to raise the profile of women’s sport and provide more opportunities for young girls to play basketball.”


Geelong United, currently with a women’s and men’s team in the NBL1 South, will join the WNBL next season. Photo: MARCEL BERENS/SPORTS MEDIA IMAGES


Geelong United chair Jessica Chappell told this publication following her appointment to the head of the board in April, there was a natural progression for the association to hold a WNBL license.

“I think Geelong United is really well-positioned in terms of not only attracting interest at an elite level, but also understanding that we’ve come from an environment where we’ve built on two extraordinary basketball associations and merged as one,” Ms Chappell said.

“Looking to the future, we know that in order to continue to grow the sport, we need to provide a pathway right from our junior program and our community program, through to our VJBL, Big V, and NBL1 program through to the elite level of basketball.”


Geelong United Basketball chair Jessica Chappell said a move into the WNBL would be a “natural progression”. Photo: VINNIE VAN OORSCHOT


Geelong United also thanked the team’s ownership group in making the acquisition possible, consisting of The Deam Family, Anna Teague & Seb Loader, Jackie & Ben Riddle, and Belgravia Group (Lord Family).

Geelong United is expected to host home games at The Geelong Arena during its inaugural season.

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