GALLERY: Bid to expand The Hills basketball complex

A RECORD number of kids took part in last week’s free Sydney Kings coaching clinic in Castle Hill — more than 500.

GALLERY: Click here to read about the coaching clinic and to view our photos.

Five hundred is more than have turned out to any of the Kings’ basketball clinics in the past three years.

Yet Hills Hornets Basketball Association remains unable to convince The Hills Council to go guarantor for a show court at Hills Sports Stadium, among other things.

‘‘The council has engaged an independent financial consultant to analyse the business case and financial viability of an expansion,’’ a council spokesman said.

‘‘No decision will be made until the analysis is complete. The council has not provided bank guarantees in the past.’’

But Hornets general manager Steve Burke said if his club had more basketball courts they could easily attract more players and go from being the second-largest basketball association in the state to number one. The club is debt-free, he said.

‘‘We will borrow the [roughly $2.5 million] money but we can’t get the money against the building because it sits on Crown land controlled by The [Hills] Council,’’ Mr Burke said.

The council is currently linking sports clubs with school facilities to help alleviate the shortage of playing fields in the Hills. (Click herehere and here for more on the school field trial.)

The Hornets’ facilities are also stretched, to the point that in May 2012 about seven teams in the local basketball competition (about 80 players) were being sent to Bernie Mullane Sports Complex to compete.

Representative teams were also training at outside venues — and still are.

‘‘Renting other venues is becoming more and more problematic,’’ Mr Burke said.

Click here to read about how the stadium was coping in 2013.

‘‘There’s just a dearth of basketball venues in this area," Mr Burke said.

‘‘A lot of them are schools... but their musical will often take precedence [over our events] and often on short notice,’’ Mr Burke said. ‘‘We’re looking at hiring warehouses.’’

He said they risked losing the annual East Coast Challenge round robin tournament between NSW, Victoria, South Australia and ACT.

Council’s spokesman said: ‘‘Council is committed to supporting sporting organisations and encouraging participation in sport while being fiscally responsible with ratepayer’s money.’’

WHAT’S PLANNED

The building plan will include:

■ A show court and 600-seat grandstand;

■ A first aid room;

■ Referee room and office;

■ Change rooms and toilets;

■ An audiovisual meeting room and separate functions room; and

■ A parking and infrastructure upgrade.

■ What do you think?

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop