DID you know that there is a fully-fledged Bocce club operating on the Gold Coast?
In fact we also have a competitive fencing team, serious table tennis competition, Gridiron team and a circus school. Who knew?
Even some sports that we thought had died a natural death are making an underground resurgence. Basketball is a case in point.
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In recent years we have watched the demise of both the Brisbane Bullets and Gold Coast Blaze so one could be forgiven for assuming that interest in the sport had plummeted as well. That couldn’t be further from the truth though – as I found out on the weekend.
I spent Sunday at The Southport School (TSS) watching week 1 of Intensity Super League, aka the ISL. It was a seriously exciting afternoon of spectator sport that basketball enthusiasts on the Gold Coast need to know about.
Organised by former Olympian, New Zealand Tall Black and NBL star, Pero Cameron, the ISL is unique in Australia because of the professional way it is run. Kicking off with an NBA style draft day, players try out to get selected for one of eight men’s and four women’s teams, ensuring a high and competitive level of players.
In a great move to promote the future of the sport, each team has to include two under-21 players, has a head coach and is sponsored by a local business.
In the game I watched, former NBL player, Scott McGregor, headed up the veteran-laced Torque Money against Hillcrest Christian College young guns lead by American NCAA College player, Jon Hawkins.
What I experienced was ground level sport at its best. Players were diving on loose balls, helping each other off the floor and making impressive, showy plays. Torque Money and Hillcrest were tied going into the fourth quarter and you could feel the intensity in the stands (as well as the heat waves). Torque Money managed to pull off an electrifying win, 81-73.
With no professional teams in Brisbane or on the Gold Coast, the ISL could be showcasing the best basketball talent in South East Queensland.
Battling it out for $6000 in prize money, the intensity and entertainment factor is high and definitely makes for a great atmosphere. For only a gold coin donation, The Southport School on Sundays between 11am and 3pm is where it is all happening so check it out.
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