SOUTH Coast fans, be prepared to wait to see your Hawks back in action at the Wollongong Entertainment Centre.
The NBL announced on Monday that the 2020-21 season will begin in early 2021. An exact start date hasn't been finalised.
The organisation consulted with all nine clubs and the Australian Basketball Players' Association, as well as acting on advice from the NBL Return to Court Taskforce, before making the announcement.
NBL owner Larry Kestelman said the decision was made to "give clubs the best opportunity to play in front of as many fans as possible".
"We will remain flexible about the exact start date and this will depend on a number of factors including travel and border restrictions, community transmission numbers and availability at venues across Australia and New Zealand," he said.
"As always, the health and safety of our players, staff and fans will be our number one priority. But we also remain focused on playing in front of fans as they are the lifeblood of the league."
The idea of teams being placed into NBL 'hubs' has been suggested as a possibility for the 2020/21 season.
Earlier this month, NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro threw his weight behind the state government's proposal of teams being based in Sydney, and Wollongong.
"We intend to play a full season and, if needed, we will play in one or more hubs to achieve this. We are currently having positive discussions with a number of interested states about potential locations," Kestelman said.
"Delaying the start of the season until the new year gives us the best opportunity to do that as well as the necessary time and flexibility to plan accordingly.
"I want to thank all of our team owners, players, corporate partners, staff and fans for their ongoing support. I am proud of the way we have stuck together during a challenging year for everyone and look forward to finalising plans for the season."
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