GRIFFITH will not have a team in this year's State League basketball competition after the local association officially pulled the pin on the Demons for 2013.
The team is "on hiatus" and will return next year, according to Griffith Basketball's State League director Rocco Rombola.
The decision allows the Demons a full 12 months to rebuild both on and off the court following a tumultous season last year that was marred by the mass walkout led by former captain-coach Andrew Cullen.
Now a fitness coach at the Griffith Swans, Cullen turned his back on the Demons mid-season after he was handed a massive six-month suspension by Basketball NSW for an on-court fight.
He has since been followed to the Swans by ex-Demons Todd Howard, Steven McCanna and Dean Spratt, who will all try their hand at Australian rules this year.
Their move has left the basketball side short on senior players, which was a major factor in the decision - but Rombola pledged the Demons will recover.
"It's a matter of re-engineering what was there," he said.
"The issues that caused Andrew and the players to do what they did, I don't dare to comment on. That's history and his decision.
"We did a great job to just get a team on the court after what happened but we can't throw our juniors in the deep end.
"Our plans are that come 2014, we'll have the same level of entertainment and crowd support and if we find the right player-coach we'll have a program equal to, if not better than what we had before."
The decision was welcomed by key Demon Jonathan Evans, who said: "We need to work on getting the crowds back and a few more sponsors."
"It's a big difference for the players having the crowd there, it gives everyone a lift. Even the teams from Canberra would say Griffith was the place to be just because of the atmosphere."
Rombola said by the end of the Western Junior League season, the city's next generation of players should have developed to the point where they could serve as the core of any future State League squad.
"We couldn't pressure them in this year. If your team strength isn't there and your juniors are getting flogged, it doesn't give them much incentive to grow into it," he said.
"We haven't had much luck finding an American to suit our needs either, so we're taking a step back, rebuilding and tackling the State League afresh next year."