April 17, 2024

On the verge of history, Australia’s “most successful ever” expansion club defies everyone’s belief that it is impossible.

The Tasmania JackJumpers stand on the brink of history ahead of tonight’s Game 4 of the NBL championship series (7.30pm AEDT).

The JackJumpers finished the regular season in third place after a stirring four-win streak left them with a 16-12 win-loss record. But they thrashed the fourth-placed Illawara Hawks before overcoming the second-seeded Perth Wildcats 2-1 in the semi-finals to book their place in the grand final series against Melbourne United.

After losing the first game on the road 104-81, they bounced back to win the next two 82-77 then 93-91 – with game three’s stunning win coming via Jack McVeigh sending a half-court Hail Mary to beat the buzzer and put them one game away from a maiden NBL title.

Already, the JackJumpers are being called the “most successful expansion club” in Australian history – across any code.

They might bring an underdog mentality defined by their ‘Defend the Island’ motto that has united the state, but within three seasons they have established themselves as genuine competition heavyweights.

They reached the Grand Final series in their first season, lost in the semi-finals in their second season, and are back in the grand finals this time around.

Tonight’s game sold out in 10 minutes – their 49th consecutive home game to sell out, a streak dating back to their first-ever home game back in October 2021.

MyState Bank Arena in Glenorchy has a capacity of just 4,340, with the team desperate for a long-awaited upgrade to add another 1,500-plus seats to finally go ahead.

A $56 million redevelopment of the stadium was announced back in 2021 – but even another 3,500 seats won’t come close to meeting the demand for tickets, with the waitlist for JackJumpers memberships nearly 2,000 people long. Tickets almost always sell out to members before the general public get a chance to purchase.

It represents just how well the JackJumpers have captured the hearts of Tasmanians since their founding – with cigar-loving coach Scott Roth a key figurehead and touchpoint for fans across the state.

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