- Gold Coast Blaze
The Gold Coast Blaze is an
Australian basketballteam which competes in the National Basketball League (NBL). The Blaze competed in their inaugural season in 2007/08. The club is based on the Gold Coast and joins three other NBL clubs competing from Queensland. The Blaze are not related to the previous Gold Coast representative in the NBL, the Gold Coast Rollers.
The first official reports of a new Gold Coast franchise surfaced in September 2006. [http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,20376713-5006371,00.html Nagy, Boti (2006). "Gold Coast to get a team". "AdelaideNow". Retrieved February, 24, 2007.] Former
Gold Coast Rollershead coach Dave Claxton spearheaded a bid for a new NBL license for the Gold Coast. On November 21, 2006 the NBL Board officially accepted the bid and announced the addition of a new Gold Coast franchise and reported that the club would compete out of the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. [http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&aid=4240 NBL (2006). "NBL expands to Gold Coast". Retrieved February, 24, 2007.]
At the beginning of 2007 the newly founded Gold Coast franchise held a competition to name the club. [http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&aid=4539 NBL (2007). "Gold Coast name game". Retrieved February, 24, 2007.] The franchise offered four options to choose from including the 'Heat', 'Marlins', 'Flyers' and 'Waves', as well as the ability to suggest another alternative. On February 23 the franchise announced that it would compete under the 'Blaze' moniker. [http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&aid=4745 Gold Coast Basketball (2007). "Gold Coast sets NBL a Blaze". Retrieved February, 24, 2007.] Despite the 'Heat' name being voted the most popular in the naming competition, club officials decided it would be best to steer clear of the name following objections from the
NBA, due to the name being held by American franchise the Miami Heat.
Prior to the official naming of the franchise, the Blaze made their first major signing on January 18 in signing former
Wollongong Hawkshead coach Brendan Joyce as their inaugural head coach. [http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&aid=4538 Gold Coast (2007). "Gold Coast signs Joyce". Retrieved February, 24, 2007.] Following this signing, two days later the club signed former West Sydney Razorbackshead coach Mark Watkins as the assistant coach. [http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&aid=4724 Gold Coast (2007). "Watkins joins Gold Coast". Retrieved February, 24, 2007.]
On April 5 the Blaze announced the signing of their first player: former
West Sydney Razorbackscaptain Scott McGregor. [http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&aid=4891 Gold Coast Blaze (2007). "McGregor named as Blaze's first signing". Retrieved April 5, 2007.] The first international signing was announced on May 2 with former Houston RocketsNBA player Juaquin "Hawk" Hawkins, who had met Gold Coast coach Brendan Joyce in Californiaseveral years before [http://www.abc.net.au/sport/content/200705/s1911983.htm "Hawkins to join Gold Coast Blaze". Retrieved May 2, 2007.] .
* [http://www.blazegc.com.au Official Website]
* [http://www.gameongc.com.au/ Game on Gold Coast website]
* [http://www.nbl.com.au Official NBL website]
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