Tasmania can be 'mecca' for Australian basketball: Roth

Tasmania JackJumpers coach Scott Roth believes the island state can be Australia's basketball "mecca" if tired courts and facilities are upgraded. 

The American has also backed Jack McVeigh and Will Magnay to step up for the Boomers if selected for the Olympics, and detailed his plan for Next Star signing Roman Siulepa.

Roth, who guided the JackJumpers to championship success in 2023/24 in their third NBL season, said the sport's growth in the state had been tremendous.

He said Tasmania's impact on basketball in Australia could be akin to that of Lithuania, which often punches above its weight in Europe. 

"Why can’t (Tasmania) be the mecca of basketball," he said on Tuesday. 

"We have everything going for us, we just need the facilities because the amount of growth has been unparalleled."

The JackJumpers are awaiting the construction of a high-performance centre promised by the state government. 

It was originally slated to be built near the team's MyState Bank Arena home court, but will now be constructed south of Hobart near current training facilities at the request of the club. 

"There’s been talk for three years ... but until I see some dirt moved or a sign put up ... I’ll wait and see because it’s been a very slow three-year process," Roth said. 

"Not only do we need it, but the state needs the improvement across the board. 

"I understand there’s a lot of things the government promises with health and education ... but I hope we can get ours going." 

The state government has pledged to build more community courts and upgrade facilities in Launceston and elsewhere.

The JackJumpers have kept the majority of their squad together ahead of season 2024/25.

Magnay is in the US exploring NBA opportunities, and along with McVeigh is in the mix to be in the Boomers' squad for the Olympics. 

Jack McVeigh.
Jack McVeigh, who is in line for a spot with the Boomers, has shown himself to be an elite shooter.

"(Boomers coach Brian Goorjian) has a tough decision because there are a lot of really good players," Roth said. 

"Jack (McVeigh) has taken off and is an elite shooter - that is always in the back of your mind as a coach, especially when you get to the national level. 

"You want guys who can knock shots down at crucial moments, and he does that better than anyone else."

Roth indicated the club would take a patient approach with Queensland forward Siulepa, who signed a two-year deal as part of the Next Stars program.

The 17-year-old was named in the All-Star Five at the 2023 FIBA Under-17 Oceania Championships, and was the 2023 Queensland male player of the year.

"We’ll try to get him on the floor if we can, and the second year have him up and ready to go," Roth said. 

"Sometimes people get a little bit excited because he scored ‘x’ amount of points in an NBL1 game, but it doesn't translate to the NBL." 

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store