Kings owners add Flames to sports stable

WNBL club Sydney Uni Flames have joined NBL side Sydney Kings as part of the Total Sport and Entertainment stable.

The new boss of the Sydney Uni Flames plans to shake up the WNBL after placing them alongside the resurgent Sydney Kings in his growing basketball stable.

Total Sport and Entertainment (TSE) are taking over the Flames, who have been owned and managed for the past 17 years by Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness.

Under TSE, the Kings enjoyed a resurgence in the recently completed NBL season, becoming the first club in the competition's history to lead the ladder from the start to the end of the season.

The Kings trailed Perth 2-1 in the best-of-five grand final series but opted not to participate in the remainder of the series due to health concerns associated with the spread of coronavirus.

It was TSE'S first season as the sole owner of the Kings, having shared it the year before with TEG and AEG Ogden.

The Flames have won four WNBL titles, the most recent one in 2017 and have been runners-up 10 times.

They have missed the finals in the past two seasons, finishing sixth in the 2019-20 campaign.

Kings and TSE chairman Paul Smith sees tremendous potential for the WNBL in Sydney and in the current ownership model under Basketball Australia.

'"There's a lot of intriguing and interesting happening in women's basketball internationally and we felt the time was very right," Smith told AAP.

Smith said he wanted the WNBL to grow and develop and he planned to be creative and innovative.

"Most importantly create heroes in Sydney that young women can aspire to and say 'look I love (Kings players) Andrew Bogut, Casper Ware and Kevin Lisch and I love (the Flames') Alice Kunek as well,'" he said

While the NBL has enjoyed tremendous growth in recent years, the WNBL has battled for exposure despite being regarded as one of the best women's domestic league's in the world.

"We're going to shake it up man,"' Smith said.

The Flames will retain their full name for the next two years and won't be changing their colours.

They will play some double headers with the Kings at Qudos Bank Arena and their other home games at their current base, Brydens Stadium.

Legendary Opals representative and head of Women's Basketball at Basketball Australia, Lauren Jackson was excited about the Flames' new ownership coming on board.

"What Paul Smith and his team have been able to do in Sydney with the Kings has been incredible and we look forward to what his vision and leadership will bring to the Flames and to the overall standard of the WNBL," Jackson said."


AAP