Hunter Pirates

Hunter Pirates

Hunter Pirates
Established 2003/04
Final Season 2005/06
Team Colours Red, Yellow and Black
Championships None
Team History Canberra Cannons
(1979-2002/03)
Hunter Pirates
(2003/04-2005/06) Singapore Slingers
(2006/07-Present)

The Hunter Pirates were an Australian basketball team, based in the city of Newcastle, that competed in the National Basketball League.

Team History

The team was once known as the Canberra Cannons, one of the foundation members of the NBL (the others were the Newcastle Falcons, Illawarra (Wollongong) Hawks and Brisbane Bullets). At the end of the 2002/03 season, new owners moved the team to Newcastle, and renamed the franchise the Hunter Pirates, keeping with the maritime battlers theme.

In its first season, 2003/04, the team came last, winning only two games. Initial coach Bruce Palmer quit partway into the season, and was replaced by assistant coach David Simmons.

In 2004/05, former Perth Wildcats and Australian Institute of Sport coach Dr. Adrian Hurley was employed as coach. A mostly-retooled team produced much better results, finishing 8th with a 15-17 record. The Pirates made the NBL Playoffs, only to be eliminated by the Brisbane Bullets in the opening round.

Adrian Hurley quit at the end of the 2005/06 season after the Hunter Pirates were beaten by Cairns in the playoffs.

The club did have plans in the next few years to move from the Entertainment Centre to a new stadium to be built at the Stockland Supercentre out at Glendale, a suburb of Newcastle.

The Pirates withdrew from the NBL competition at the end of the 2005/06 season due to financial difficulties and their inability to secure a major sponsor, and the club's NBL licence was put up for sale. It was revealed on NBN News that, in an effort to remain in the competition, the club had considered turning itself into a not-for-profit organisation, thereby able to access various grants.

In the end, the Pirates' licence was sold to a Singapore consortium, and the Singapore Slingers began competing in the 2006/07 season

Honour Roll

NBL Championships: 0
NBL Finals Appearances: 2 (2004-05, 2005-06)
NBL Grand Final appearances: 0
NBL Most Valuable Players: Brian Wethers (2005)
All-NBL First Team: Brian Wethers (2005)
NBL Coach of the Year: Adrian Hurley (2005)
NBL Most Improved Player: Geordie Cullen (2004)

Source: www.nbl.com.au

External links

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