THE Newcastle Falcons are back.
From next year, Newcastle Basketball's senior and junior representatives teams will be known as the Falcons.
The name change, from the Newcastle Hunters, follows a community survey and is a tip to the past as basketball in the region enters an exciting new era.
Newcastle were among 12 clubs elevated to the second-tier NBL 1 East competition which starts in April.
And with the construction of a $25 million stadium and headquarters on the horizon, the association explored the idea of a new brand.
Newcastle was the birthplace of the National Basketball League (NBL) in 1979 and the Falcons were a foundation club.
The name Falcons became synonymous with basketball in the region until the NBL franchise went under in 1999. The Hunter Pirates entered the league in 2003 and lasted three seasons before they went broke.
Newcastle Basketball plans to join the Women's NBL in the near future but haven't featured in the men's national competition since the demise of the Pirates.
The newly formed NBL 1 East is a level below the NBL.
Rather than have differing names for various levels, all Newcastle representative teams will carry now the Falcons tag.
"The Newcastle Falcons was overwhelmingly the preferred option and the board endorsed this as the new name of our junior and senior representative teams from 2022 onwards," Newcastle Basketball general manager Neil Goffet said.
"We are cognisant of the sentiment attached to this decision but it was made responsibly and respectfully and we have committed to letting our history shape our future under the Falcons banner."
The Falcons, with 51 per cent of votes, was the overwhelming favourite of the six options in the survey.
Current moniker, Hunters, was second with 29 per cent followed by Hunter Pirates (5), Newcastle Pirates (4), Newcastle Hustlers (2) and Newcastle Scorpions (2).
Junior representative teams were the Hustlers before becoming the Hunters in about 1996.
The survey, which was posted on the association's webpage and social media, attracted feedback from the basketball community locally and around the country.
Former Opals coach Brendan Joyce and Paralympic legend Kurt Fearnley were among the participants to endorse the Falcons.
"The board of directors were impressed by the level of response ... we would like to thank everyone for taking the time to submit their responses and help us determine the way forward for this growing organisation," Goffet said.
IN THE NEWS:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.