20160209 - Media Release - Commercial Club Lady Bandits continue impressive recruiting campaign for 2016.
The Commercial Club Lady Bandits Coach Jim Wilson continues to add to his growing list of impressive signings with the announcement today that WNBL Adelaide Lightning’s Alex Ciabattoni will join the Lady Bandits for the 2016 season.
Standing at 183 cm Alex has the versatility of playing almost every position on the floor. Whilst starting her career as a point guard, her size gives her the unique ability to also play as a small forward. Alex was a state player junior in Adelaide before commencing a successful College career with Div II College Newman University in the US. In 2013-14 Alex was named Heartland Conference Player of the Year, averaging 20.3 ppg at 59.3 percent field goal shooting. She was top 10 in rebounds (6.9), steals (1.8) and blocked shots (1.2).
After two years with Newman University, Alex transferred to Div I College Stetson Hattersin 2014 before returning to Australia to play with the Adelaide Lightning in the WNBL in August 2015.
In her first season with the Lightning, Alex has played in 20 games, averaging 13 minutes and 4.6 points per game, shooting at an impressive 50 percent.
“I had a great couple of years in the US and playing with the Lightning in the WNBL this past season has really given me a taste of what is to come” Ciabattoni said today.
“I am really looking forward to playing SEABL this year and can’t wait to come to Albury-Wodonga to play with the Lady Bandits.
“I am ready to take that next step and am looking forward to helping the Lady Bandits become a more competitive outfit in the future”.
Coach Jim Wilson believes that Alex will be a force to be reckoned with this year. "Alex’s ability to score the basketball is outstanding”.
“She has exceptional vision as a playmaker and I see her becoming one of the major leaders of his team. Even though Alex is only 21, the energy and versatility that she will bring to this group
With Montana Farrah-Seaton returning to play in her fifth season with the Lady Bandits, and a good spread of local junior players, Wilson says the mixture of youth and experience should make for a more competitive season in 2016.
The SEABL season officially starts on 2 April with a double header away weekend for both teams. The first home game of the season kicks off on 9 April when the Bandits play newcomers Melbourne Tigers at 5.30pm, followed by the Annual Bandits Trivia Challenge.
Supporters will have to wait until 16 April before getting their first look at the all new Lady Bandits line-up, when they play one of last year’s finalists the Launceston Tornadoes.
Ends 9 February 2016
20151223 - Media Release Bandits sign Kings Development Duo
The Albury/Wodonga Commercial Club Bandits Coaching Staff and Board would like to announce the signings of Ben Kearins and Madol Chol for the 2016 SEABL season.
Both players come to the club from NSW Waratah League side the Penrith Panthers and both are also currently Development players for the Sydney Kings in the NBL.
Ben a 6’2 PG has been an integral part of the Penrith Panthers program for the last 3 years and last season produced excellent numbers of 18pts, 5rebs and 4 assists per game. He has represented NSW on many occasions at the junior level and has successfully transitioned into the Sydney Kings program as a development player over the last 2 seasons where he has been able to learn and grow significantly as a player.
Along with Ben’s signing we also have great pleasure in announcing the acquisition of 6’8 100kg PF Madol Chol to the team. Madol has also recently played for Penrith averaging 12pts & 7 rebs and been a development player with the Kings for the last 2 seasons. Madol is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Sport and has spent time playing in the Big V Championship as well.
Both players fit perfectly with the Club’s ambition to build a young core around our existing stars, both are hard working athletes who are on an upward trajectory with their skill development and understanding of the game. Their potential is something the Club is really excited about and keen to harness to try to assist and develop even further. We see them as key signings in assisting us to remain a real force in 2016 and their ability to get up and down the floor and attack both ends with a consistent energy is something that will add real value to the group. Both guys will really compliment the other young players who are returning to the Club in Jack Duck, Sawyer Dearborn and Darcy Harding to form an exciting young group all aged 23 and under.
“Having both guys agree to sign is fantastic. I know both players were very committed to the cause from the first time I spoke to them and are really keen to make the step into SEABL to show their talents. This will help us ultimately to continue to build a sustainable program. I know both guys have been drawn to our team environment and really respect our culture and the wonderful people we have within our Club. Both could see how professional we are trying to be on how we approach running our program and at the end of the day both really wanted to try and compete for a title next year.” Commercial Club Bandits Head Coach Brad Chalmers said. Both players are very keen to get into preseason training and will join the group in February.
For further information Contact: Brad Chalmers – 0448 170 294
20151222 - Media Release Commercial Club Lady Bandits announce second major signing for 2016
Current UC Canberra Capitals and former Waratah Championship League player Ellie Junod will join the Lady Bandits roster in 2016. Junod played with the Bankstown Bruins in 2011-12, before joining the Sydney Uni Flames in the 2012-2013 Women's National Basketball League (WNBL).
Coach Jim Wilson made the announcement today and was extremely excited to have such a talented player in the group in his inaugural season with the Lady Bandits.
“Ellie won a Youth League premiership title in 2011 and a Championship League premiership title in 2012 with the Bruins in the Waratah League, and was named the "Waratah Under 21 Youth Player of the Year" in 2012, along with selection in the Waratah "All Stars" Side.
In 2013 Ellie made her SEABL debut with the Kilsyth Lady Cobras and has played the last two SEABL seasons with the Canberra Capitals Academy, averaging 11.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.3apg at 41.9% over three seasons in the SEABL.
“Ellie was an outstanding junior player for NSW and has continued to make an impression at senior level, currently playing with the University of Canberra Capitals in the WNBL.
Standing at 180cm, Ellie will provide some extra height and much needed athleticism in the front court for the Lady Bandits in 2016.
“Ellie has the ability to shoot the ball well and reached double-figures in ten of 15 games this season with the Canberra Capitals Academy, including a game high 23 points against us this year.
“I’m looking forward to Ellie continuing that form for us next year and can’t wait to work with her as part of our group”, Wilson said.
Ends 21 December 2015 Contact: Jim Wilson 0402 342 903
20151129 - MEDIA RELEASE STAR DONTE NICHOLAS IS BACK!
The Albury/Wodonga Commercial Club Bandits Coaching Staff and Board would like to announce the re-signing of SEABL All-Star Donte Nicholas for the 2016 Season.
Donte was an unbelievable contributor and leader for the men’s team during last year’s successful season and we are so pleased to see him return to help the programme continue forward in its quest for future success.
Donte’s ability to fit into the group and help set a culture around hard work, competitiveness, sacrifice and belief was undeniable and his results statistically on the floor along with his wonderful efforts for the club off the court in the community were first rate.
The clubs coaching staff see 2016 as a great opportunity for Donte to continue to showcase his superior skills at the SEABL level and help lead the team towards consecutive playoffs appearances. Head Coach of the Commercial Club Bandits, Brad Chalmers welcomes the re-signing of Donte as a key piece in 2016. “Donte is one of my favourite players I have ever coached or played with, simply because he brings it every night, he is a beast on both ends of the floor and I think untapped still in terms of his ceiling as a player. I love his work ethic and his no nonsense approach to competing and focusing completely on winning. When you play against Te, you know you have been in a ball game and I love having him by my side and leading our group and I just know in 2016 we will see an even better player than in 2015 which is scary”
Donte will arrive on the Border in February to commence pre-season training with the team.
2015-10-21: MEDIA RELEASE - Deba George and Clay McMath return to the Hideout for 2016
The Albury-Wodonga Commercial Club Bandits Coaching Staff and Board are excited to announce the re-signing of Deba George and Claybrin McMath for the 2016 SEABL season. Both players were integral members of last year’s Eastern Conference winning team and brought an enthusiasm, belief, work ethic and talent level to the men’s programme that greatly assisted the squad in achieving its overall success.
Deba was rightfully rewarded for his excellent season with an All SEABL team selection and showed that he is still one of the most dynamic players in the league. His ability to also fit into the group, the local community and establish himself within the basketball framework in Albury/Wodonga was second to none and we are pleased to see him commit again to next year’s campaign.
Clay also was a fantastic acquisition for the club and his strong skill-set, passionate demeanour and intensity to developing his game and the way the group played as a unit were catalysts all year. He was a leader defensively and with his standards and behaviours across his preparation and play, we look forward to him growing even further as an athlete next season.
With the men’s roster taking shape we look forward to announcing further signings for the canva2016 season over the coming month.
For further information, contact Brad Chalmers 0448170294
Lady Bandits Head Coach announced
Following a somewhat disappointing season for the Commercial Club Lady Bandits in 2015, the Board has confirmed that it has looked to a well-known local coach to try to re-build the women’s program with a real focus on the development of the region’s young players. The Board is pleased to announce that Jim Wilson has accepted the position of Head Coach of the Lady Bandits for season 2016.
‘At the end of the 2015 season when Michael Brookens advised that he would not be returning to the border next year, the Board felt that appointing coaches from out of town had simply not worked’ President Michael Mack said today.
‘For the last five years we have recruited coaches from outside the area but we found that the demands of commuting or re-locating puts so much additional pressure on a program that is already struggling.
‘Working towards a more focussed relationship with the Big V NE Bushrangers program moving forward, the Board felt that the appointment of Jim Wilson would make the pathway from junior basketball through the Big V program to SEABL level a much easier transition for junior players’.
After several Board meetings reviewing the Club’s overall position and the performance of the program, the Board felt that it was time to position its focus locally.
‘Jim has a wealth of basketball experience and is no stranger to the Bandits Club. He has a long history of local and state coaching – Victorian State Coach from 1998 to 2005 and NSW State Coach from 2011 to 2014. Jim also coached the Bandits’ men’s team from 2005 to 2008, a team which his son Jessy is currently a member of.
‘Whilst several candidates had been interviewed for the position of Head Coach, the Board decided that a local approach was the best option’.
Mack acknowledged that there was a lot of hard work to be done to make the program more competitive but felt that the appointment of Jim Wilson was a positive step.
‘Jim will be contacting this year’s entire roster to determine what role they might play in the future and he also has some great ideas for developing and recruiting players and for progressing the women’s program into the future’.