News that the Sal's NBL is retuning to action on June 23 has already reached all corners of the basketball world with news stories on international wires talking about the 39-year-old League as it prepares for a return to play.

One of the most talked about features of the re-formatted competition is the player draft, a first for New Zealand basketball that looks to have captured the imagination of hoops fans and players alike.

The draft will see 84 players selected from a pool of players. It looks likely to include an array of already established NBL players along with a plethora of returned College stars, back home for the first time in four years and ready to show the Kiwi public and Tall Blacks coaches what they have to offer. 

In a fun twist, players of all levels have already started taking to social media with highlight reels and skills videos, putting their credentials on public display ahead of being a part of history should they formally nominate for the draft.

From Monday May 25 players from across New Zealand will be able to register, including any international players currently residing in the country. Kiwis in other parts of the world can also register if they can make their way back to New Zealand and follow the government's quarantine regulations.

Any player nominating for the Draft or Pre-Selection by a team must register at

Registrations open on Monday May 25 and will run through to 6pm on Friday June 5. The Draft, Pre-Selection and Trade Window rules are explained HERE.

One person well known in Sal's NBL circles is Dillon Boucher. The 25-season star and 9-time championship winner says the new competition is an "awesome" opportunity for players.

"We are in a global pandemic so a normal competition was not possible, so something unique was required to make sure our teams could get back out there and our players had something to play in.

"The draft is definitely unique and something we have never seen before, but what an awesome opportunity for players to get back on court."

Now on the other side of the white line following his stellar career, Boucher has been busy behind the scenes playing a key role in helping bring the new format together and get the League back up and running.

"Being able to help and play a role in getting basketball back for 2020 has been the focus, and I think we've come up with a format that works on so many levels in the very different environment we find ourselves in," added Boucher.

Sal's NBL General Manager Justin Nelson has admitted the interest in the competition and the player draft has even caught him by surprise.

"We expected there to be interest around the draft, but it's been far bigger than any of us thought," said Nelson, adding "I have been inundated with emails and highlight reels from around the world, I'm waking up to dozens of new contacts every day.

"It's actually been quite hard to then let some of these people down given international players can't fly into New Zealand and play in this year's competition, but they're excited for basketball to be returning all the same."




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