THE Griffith Demons basketball program has received a timely shot in the arm with Rocco Rombola announced as the new State League director for the 2013 season.
Serious doubts about the future of the team surfaced this year when the former side walked out mid-year in protest after then captain-coach Andrew Cullen was suspended for six months for his part in an on-court fight.
A young and vastly inexperienced team was hastily formed to finish the Demons' commitments for the remaining weeks of the season, but the future of the side remained up in the air until now.
Rombola brings with him 15 years of experience in all levels of the game, including being a past State League director, to the role as he looks to set the side up to improve during the off-season.
After seeing the Demons' program brought to its knees, Rombola felt compelled to help if the local association believed his services were needed.
"I thought 'hold on they can't let this die because what it had done for the sport and the town to that point had been great'," Rombola said.
"Seeing these young guys step in and step up and they're so willing to learn if most of the current side can come back there's a solid foundation going forward."
Rombola hoped the young Demons would put their hand up for the upcoming MIA League season, and indicated he would look to sign another import for the 2013 season.
"To promote the program it pays to have an import you have to consider the nearest in terms of size of city is Wagga, and they're three times the size," he said.
"We've been drawing on surrounding areas, which is something we should be proud of. But this thought process of 'win at all costs' is not as important as 'let's compete and see where we can promote our juniors'."
Griffith Basketball president Damian Curry believed Rombola was a good fit for the new team, bringing a combination of experience and an old-school attitude to training.
When asked if any of the previous members of the Demons' side would be welcome to play in 2013, Curry said there will always be a place for them if they wish.
"Of course, there was a place for them before as well, but it's going to be a fresh start with proper trials and putting the legitimacy back into it so the best people that want to play have the ability to play (in the side)," he said.
"It's a testament to the juniors that are coming through and that they were willing to step up knowing they were going to get a hiding in those first few games mid-way through this year.
"But the effort they put in to improving their game, improving their team structure and their general play together was really impressive."