QSL Coaching Announcement:

Southern Districts Spartans Basketball has announced two major signings to its coaching staff for the 2020 Return-to-Play season, marking the club’s return to competitive basketball at Rowland Cowan Stadium in Carina.

A club spokesperson said former professional basketball player CJ Bruton will return as head coach of the Southern Districts Spartans Basketball Men’s Team and coach Aja Parham-Ammar has agreed to remain with the Spartans Women’s Team in the QSL.

Spartans said: “The return of CJ Bruton, currently Assistant Coach of the Aussie Boomers as well as the Bullets, on top of Aja agreeing to stay means there is an amazing season ahead,”.

“This is our chance to play in the QSL competition for 2020 – the highest level of basketball in Queensland this year,” the Spartans spokesperson said.

CJ Bruton played most of his career in the Australian National Basketball League (NBL), including:
●      Perth Wildcats
●      Brisbane Bullets
●      Wollongong Hawks
●      Canberra Cannons
●      Sydney Kings
●      New Zealand Breakers
●      2013 Sydney Kings 25th Anniversary Team

CJ’s return to Spartans is complimented by the announcement that former player and current coach Aja Parham-Ammar will lead the women’s top team. A former professional basketball player in the WNBA and Europe, Aja has been an essential part of the Spartans Women’s program.

As a player, Aja has been a part of the Carina Leagues Club Spartans team QBL ‘Three-Peat’ success in 2017, 2018 and 2019. She commenced her career in Div 1 of the NCAA at Boston College, before joining Seattle Storm in the WNBA and securing numerous contracts throughout a seven-year European career prior to her move to Australia.

“There is a great deal of excitement at Spartans with the re-signing of Aja and with the return of one of the most experienced and skilful coaches like CJ Bruton.”  Kristian Justus, Southern Districts Chair, announced.

Team Numbers are UP!

It was also announced that team numbers have increased over the past 12 months, despite the impact of COVID19, compared to the same time last year.

“We are delighted that all of the hard work by clubs, staff and coaches is starting to bear fruit with a regular increase of participants. Despite the impact on participants by the competitions being on hold for so long, it is terrific that so many families have chosen basketball as their choice to return to play”.  Kristian Justus stated.

News from the Board:

The Board of Southern Districts has gone through a renewal period during the COVID shutdown after long standing association contributors, including founder and former Chair Mr Allan Ladewig, retired. The new Board has extensive experience in business, government and sport and is led by Kristian Justus. The new Deputy Chair is Margaret Groves and the other three new board members include David Lane, Phil Reeves and Cameron Hanns.

“As Chair I am extremely pleased with the experience and skill sets we have on our new Board,” Mr Justus said. “Already this experience is bearing fruit with some of the actions and decisions we are making”.Kristian Justus said some of the recent decisions and developments to address the COVID and post-COVID environment included:

  • our Board would not be prepared to accept that it is business as usual post COVID19
  • Recently commenced an Operational & Administrative Review
  • Established several new committees including Senior Representative High-Performance Group chair by basketball identity Phil Binder
  • Recent resignation and soon departure of General Manager Hamish Cain who recently informed the Board he wishes to pursue other interests in the Sports Industry
  • Appointment of Ric Willmot as an interim manager (for at least two months) to ensure a smooth changeover of efficient operations during this return to play period. Ric has extensive experience in Business Strategy and Change Management of some of the leading companies in the world as well as previous experience in operating sporting associations in Brisbane.

Kristian Justus stated: “We have hit the jackpot by attracting someone of Ric’s standing both in the business and local basketball community to step in and assist Southern Districts to stay focussed on ensuring our clubs, teams and players return to basketball”.

“We acknowledge Hamish’s contribution over the past 18 months and wish him and his family well in his next sports administrator role”.