Media Release: NBL

The Hungry Jack’s NBL is pleased to announce a new partnership with Basketball New South Wales, Basketball Victoria and Basketball South Australia to advance the development of referees across the league.

The joint venture between the NBL and the state associations allows referees to work full time in basketball as they pursue their careers as referees in the NBL. 

Jacqui Dover (New South Wales), Ruben Woolcock (Victoria) and James Griguol (South Australia) are the first referees to be involved in the program, with all three of them becoming full-time employees with their respective state associations. 

Dover is the NBL’s first Indigenous female referee and recently made her debut in the league after progressing through the WNBL and QBL.

NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said: “We are delighted to partner with all three state associations in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia to deliver this innovative program. 

“We are committed to investing in the development of our referees and build their capability across the league. We currently have two full-time referees in Michael Aylen and Vaughan Mayberry and we believe having Jacqui, James and Ruben also working full-time in basketball will only enhance their development.

“We will continue to invest in more of these opportunities so we can open up new pathways for young referees to work in basketball full-time and take the professionalism of our referees to the next level.”

Basketball South Australia CEO Phil Sinnott said: “We’re excited to partner with the NBL and to welcome James Griguol to the Basketball SA team. This partnership allows for greater State Body capacity and James will work with BSAs Referee Frameworks Manager, Phil Haines, on developing our educational pathways and to help mould our next crop of both grass roots and elite basketball officials.

“This partnership allows us to not only utilise James’s talent, but also develop a strong partnership with the NBL. We see this partnership as a big step to ensure our elite officials have a strongly defined pathway to the NBL and provides a fantastic example of how working together we can create more opportunities and pathways for our officials. James will have an enormous impact on helping to develop our referees along their individual pathways.”

Basketball New South Wales CEO Maria Nordstrom said: “We are delighted to support this initiative and have Jacqui in our team here in NSW as well as being able to pursue her referee career with the NBL and WNBL. 

“Jacqui is our Program Manager for Indigenous and multicultural participation and she leads our Development Officers in the regions and Western Sydney in breaking down barriers to participation and engaging new kids into our sport and pathways. 

“These programs are supported by the NSW State Government and form part of the Legacy Programs for the FIBA Women’s World Cup 2022.”

Basketball Victoria CEO Nick Honey said: “We’re excited to see the pathway for elite referees continue to grow in this partnership with the NBL.

“Creating full-time referee career opportunities strengthens their ability to hone their skills and assist in developing fellow high-calibre referees on our elite panels.

“We’re pleased to welcome Ruben Woolcock to our organisation as our Elite Officials Development Officer and wish him the best of luck in his career with Basketball Victoria and the NBL.”