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Australian Link Directory  - Article Details

History of Australian Basketball

Date Added: November 13, 2010 02:31:25 PM
Author: slamstyle
Category: Sports
The Australian National Basketball League has seen many great local and imported talents playing on our courts. The NBL has been a launching pad for some of the NBA’s great players. However, it wasn’t always like this. Australia is a very young country and its first Basketball Association founded was the South Australian Metropolitan Basketball Association in 1936. This was joined by the NSW Basketball Association in 1938 after great effort by Jack Small and Eric Callaway. The Amateur Basketball Union of Australia was formed in 1939, which was a culmination of the NSW and Victorian Basketball Associations. The ABU was to be the forerunner to the Australian Basketball Federation. Basketball in Australia was being played in small suburban stadiums with only a few hundred people attending to support the players. In fact, the first Australian National Men’s Championships were not played until 1946 in Sydney. NSW defeated Victoria 50 -44! In the same year Basketball Queensland was established – the great game was starting to spread. It wasn’t long after, that in 1948 Australia became the 52nd affiliated member of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). It took a bit longer for the female competition to strengthen, with the first Australian Women’s National Championships in 1955. South Australia defeated NSW 50-34 in the final! Unfortunately, in 1956 when Australia hosted the Olympics, only the Men’s team participated. The Boomers finished 12th. The women’s competition strengthened and the Australian women’s team participated in their first ever World Championships in Brazil in 1957. Also, in 1957, the Australian men’s national team participated for the first time in the FIBA World Championships in Yugoslavia, finishing a creditable 12th. In 1978, John Raschke, the then New South Wales Basketball president, wanted to formulate a national professional competition that would help the development of basketball throughout Australia. He joined with ten interested parties in a disused aircraft hangar at Sydney airport to discuss the creation of a national competition. The first NBL season in 1979 saw the St Kilda Saints, Nunawading Spectres, West Adelaide Bearcats, Wollongong Hawks, City of Sydney Astronauts, Newcastle Falcons, Canberra Cannons, Bankstown Bruins, Glenelg Tigers playing against each other. This year also saw the 3 point shot introduced to the game by the NBA (which was subsequently adopted by FIBA in 1984). The female competition wasn’t far behind the men’s, with the Women’s Interstate Basketball Conference competition beginning in 1981 – this was to be the predecessor of the WNBL. The Australian women’s national team took part in their first Olympic Games in Los Angeles, in 1984, finishing a very respectable fifth. Jump forward a few years, to 1996 and the Opals won Australia’s first Olympic basketball medal with a bronze at the Barcelona Olympics. The Opals again excelled at the Sydney Olympics, winning a silver medal in 2000. This is our best result to date – a men’s Olympic medal still eludes us. Wheelchair Basketball in Australia has a strong competition, both locally and internationally. Both our Australian teams – women’s – the Gliders and men’s – the Rollers - have been successful in recent Paralympics Games, bringing home Bronze and Gold medals respectively. Basketball has one of the highest participation rates for team sport in Australia. It seems that our numbers grow every year, with more and more Aussies enjoying the competition and the social activity that it brings. Nowadays we can expect to see onwards of 750,000 spectators at the games throughout the summer NBL season – with a huge number of followers watching pay and digital television channels. Remember, the Basketball jersey and Uniforms holds it all together for the players on the floor as a symbol of unity and pride. It is worth spending some extra time and energy designing a uniform that represents your team the best. The writer of this article is an established company of basketball uniforms. Being a great fan of basketball himself, he closely follows and enjoys all aspects of the game.

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