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Bob Elphinston (AUS)
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Elphinston back to help drive NBL fortunes

SYDNEY - The vast experience of former FIBA President and Basketball Australia Hall of Famer Bob Elphinston is to be tapped into by the NBL.

Looking to boost its fortunes and build capacity and knowledge at the organisation, the men's professional league in Australia is set to benefit from Elphinston bringing his outstanding expertise in relation to administration and strategy.

The hierarchy of the NBL is potentially exposed at present due to a lack of experience in the sport, something freely admitted by recently-installed Chairman Graeme Wade, who comes from a strong accountancy background.

Elphinston will help to shore up that gap and could play a key role in tackling several major challenges facing the league, including a couple of clubs struggling financially and another in Brisbane working on entering in the future.

It promises to be a busy time for all concerned, but bringing passion for the sport and a stellar resume, the leadership team has certainly been strengthened considerably by the expected involvement of Elphinston, who explained to the Australian media how he had come full circle by offering to help out. 

The 73-year-old was one of the founding fathers of the NBL way back in the late 1970s, when he became the league's first director. It was also his first major administrative footstep that would see him eventually serve on FIBA's Central Board for more than a decade, many years later.

Elphinston remains fiercely proud of what was initially set up and how the league has evolved and remained resilient - perhaps one of the reasons why he is so keen to now play a role in pushing it onto greater things.

"I was at the first meeting at Sydney Airport [in 1978] convened by John Raschke," he told the Herald Sun last week.

There's no question the product [the NBL] is good and I'm keen to help. - Elphinston

"I've agreed to provide support in some operational aspects."

Elphinston was also at pains to point out that in comparison to other sports in Australia, the NBL is about as well-established as possible in terms of a history which takes it back some 36 years.

That is longer than many other sporting leagues in his homeland.

And, there's little doubt that with Elphinston on board, the NBL not only has a huge operational asset to utilise when required, but an unrivalled NBL ambassador.