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Khalu Heading Back to Mackay Basketball

Khalu in action as head coach of the Australian Indigenous Basketball All Stars. Picture: Provided.

Khalu in action as head coach of the Australian Indigenous Basketball All Stars. Picture: Provided.

MACKAY, QUEENSLAND - Hoop Dreaming mentor Joel Khalu is heading back to Mackay Basketball, after being appointed as new QBL General Manager and Head Coach of the McDonald’s Mackay Meteors.

Khalu is no stranger to the sugar city. Following a move south from Cairns in 2011, Khalu served as MBI General Manager for 5-years. During that span the club won a combined six QBL titles, the Global Product Search Meteorettes earning 3-straight (2012, 2013 & 2014) and the McDonald’s Meteors also capping three successful campaigns (2011, 2012 & 2015).

In 3-seasons as Head Coach of the Meteors, Khalu accumulated 44 wins and 13 losses. In his final season at the helm, Khalu lead the Meteors to the 2015 QBL title, securing Coach of the Year honours in the process.

Khalu departed Mackay in early 2016, recruited by FIBA Oceania to fill a post in Port Moresby as Chief Executive Officer of the Basketball Federation of Papua New Guinea (BFPNG). During his overseas tenure, Khalu helped the pacific nation win FIBA Melanesia Cup gold medals for both men and women.

Returning to Australia in late 2017, Khalu was then engaged as Chief Executive Officer of Australian Indigenous Basketball (AIB), a position he has successfully filled for the past 2-years.

MBI Chief Executive Officer Jason Borg was thrilled the association were able to entice Khalu back.

“Our MBI Board recognise how important the QBL General Manager role is and being able to fill it with somebody of Joel’s skill set will ensure that we keep moving in the right direction.”

“During Joel’s previous time in Mackay our association took some impressive steps forward, both on and off the court,” Borg said.

“We were the most successful club in the QBL competition and have the banners hanging in the stadium to show for it.”

“Joel is well known to the Mackay Basketball community and that will also help make his transition somewhat seamless.”

Khalu also shared his excitement about the return.

“I really enjoyed my previous time at Mackay Basketball and I’m pumped to be coming back,” Khalu said.

“It’s a fantastic club and the community backing here really is second to none. That atmosphere and support is a big part of why I’m returning and I also feel that Mackay as a place to live is a great fit for my young family.”

“There’s also some new challenges for me in the QBL GM role which helped form part of my decision to come back.”

“My goal for 2020 is to get both of our Mackay QBL sides back in a position where they are competing for titles.”

Khalu is also ecstatic about putting his coaching clipboard to use again with the McDonald’s Meteors.

“Over the past few years I’ve been fortunate to have travelled internationally, coaching both the Papua New Guinea and Australian Indigenous National teams, but have really missed the week-in and week-out coaching that comes with a QBL season,” Khalu added.

“When I left Mackay back in 2015 our men’s program had reached the top of the mountain, so one of the things motivating me right now is to lead our group back to that position. I’m looking forward to the task ahead.

Khalu will commence Mackay Basketball duties in November.

Joel Khalu