Hunter Pirates

The Hunter Pirates are a defunct Australian professional men's basketball team that competed in the National Basketball League (NBL). It was based in the city of Newcastle, New South Wales.

Hunter Pirates
Hunter Pirates logo
HistoryHunter Pirates
ArenaNewcastle Entertainment Centre
LocationNewcastle, New South Wales
Team colorsRed, black, gold, white

Team historyEdit

The team was once known as the Canberra Cannons, one of the foundation members of the NBL (the others were the Newcastle Falcons, Illawarra Hawks and Brisbane Bullets). At the end of the 2002–03 season, new owners moved the team to Newcastle and renamed the franchise the Hunter Pirates, keeping with the maritime battlers theme. The Pirates new home arena was the 4,658 seat Newcastle Entertainment Centre.

In its first season, 2003–04, the team came last, winning only two games. Initial coach Bruce Palmer was controversially fired partway into the season and was replaced by assistant coach David Simmons.

In 2004–05, former Perth Wildcats, Australian Boomers and Australian Institute of Sport coach Dr. Adrian Hurley was employed as the head coach. A mostly-retooled team produced much better results, finishing 8th with a 15–17 record. The Pirates made the NBL Playoffs, only to be eliminated by the Brisbane Bullets in the opening round.

Adrian Hurley quit at the end of the 2005–06 season after the Hunter Pirates were beaten by the Cairns Taipans in the playoffs.

The club did have plans in the next few years to move from the Entertainment Centre to a new stadium to be built at the Stockland Supercentre out at Glendale, a suburb of Newcastle but this never eventuated.

The Pirates withdrew from the NBL competition at the end of the 2005/06 season due to financial difficulties and their inability to secure a major sponsor, and the club's NBL licence was put up for sale.[1] It was revealed on NBN News that, in an effort to remain in the competition, the club had considered turning itself into a not-for-profit organisation, thereby able to access various grants.

In the end, the Pirates' licence was sold to a Singapore consortium, and the Singapore Slingers began competing in the 2006–07 season.[2]

Honour RollEdit

NBL Championships: 0
NBL Finals Appearances: 2 (2004/05, 2005/06)
NBL Grand Final appearances: 0
NBL Most Valuable Players: Brian Wethers (2004/05)
All-NBL First Team: Brian Wethers (2004/05)
NBL Coach of the Year: Adrian Hurley (2004/05)
NBL Most Improved Player: Geordie Cullen (2003/04)


Season by seasonEdit

Season Division League Regular season Post-season Head Coach Captain Club MVP
Finish Played Wins Losses Win %
Hunter Pirates
2003–04 1 NBL 12th 33 2 31 .061 Did Not Qualify Bruce Palmer
Dave Simmons
Brendan Mann Geordie Cullen
2004–05 1 NBL 8th 32 15 17 .065 Lost Elimination Final (Brisbane, 99–113) Adrian Hurley Brendan Mann Brian Wethers
2005–06 1 NBL 8th 32 13 19 .406 Lost Elimination Final (Cairns, 80–88) Adrian Hurley Aaron Trahair Mike Helms
Regular season record 97 30 67 .309 0 Minor premiers
Playoff record 0 0 2 .000 0 NBL Championships

As of the end of the 2005–06 season

Source: Hunter Pirates Year by Year [4]


  1. ^ "Pirates snap NBL losing streak". Yahoo!7 Sport. Australian Associated Press. 1 February 2006. Archived from the original on 7 February 2006.
  2. ^ "NBL heads to Singapore". NBL Philips Championship. Sportal. 15 March 2006. Archived from the original on 30 August 2006.
  3. ^ "Pirates Club History". NBL Philips Championship. Sportal. Archived from the original on 5 September 2007.
  4. ^ "Hunter Pirates Year by Year". NBL. Sportal. Archived from the original on 6 September 2006.

External linksEdit