By Tom Degun

Kristina-KeneallyDecember 12 - Kristina Keneally, the former New South Wales Premier, has been appointed the new chair of Basketball Australia following a unanimous vote from the Board of the organisation and will take up the role with immediate effect.

Keneally, who is the current Member for Heffron in the New South Wales Parliament, made history when she became the first woman Premier in the state as she took office from 2009 to 2011.

She will replace acting Basketball Australia chair Justin Milne, who had filled the role temporarily after former chair Diane Smith-Gander decided not to stand for re-election for the position.

"As a sport, basketball in Australia has some unique advantages that we are only just starting to capitalise on," said Keneally.

"Our incredible strength in terms of mass participation numbers, with over one million people regularly playing basketball, is largely untapped thus far.

"The continued excellence of our national teams and competitions in what is a truly global sport is not just a source of immense pride, but also a source of significant potential corporate opportunities."

Keneally added that she saw huge opportunities for basketball to build on its recent gains.

"I am passionate about sports in general and basketball in particular," she said.

"I look forward to working with the rest of the Board to build further upon all the good work already done over the past few years.

"I am genuinely excited to have been entrusted with this role."

Outgoing acting Basketball Australia chair Milne added that Keneally's addition to the Basketball Australia Board would prove a major boost to the sport.

"The Board is extremely pleased to have Kristina as part of the basketball family," said Milne.

"She is one of the standout politicians of the last decade, demonstrating great values and fierce determination.

"As basketball continues to grow in this country she will become a great leader of our sport."

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