Basketball was played in Brisbane as early as the 1920s, when it was part of the YMCA program.
Dr. Ivor Burge, a stalwart of basketball in Victoria in the late twenties and thirties moved to Brisbane in 1941, to be employed as Director at the YMCA. In 1946, Ivor Burge with the help of the University club and the YMCA formed the Queensland Amateur Basketball Association, which then conducted basketball in the Brisbane Area.
In the early periods of basketball in Brisbane, games were played in the YMCA, Wool Court at the Exhibition Ground, and at the outdoor courts at Crosby Park at Albion. Australian Championships were conducted at the Wool Courts in 1950 and 1954.
The BRISBANE AMATEUR BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION was formed in 1962, with games continued to be played at Crosby Park, until moving to the Paddington Plaza (theatre), and then moving to the Albion Indoor courts at Burdett Street, Albion. The Australian Men’s Championships were held at the Paddington Plaza in 1965.
In 1973, through the initiative of Queensland Basketball’s Ken Madsen, Harold Peacock, and Bob Rayner the now VINCE HICKEY STADIUM was built, at Auchenflower. Originally a two court complex, it was enlarged to four courts in 1998.
In 1984 BABA, became Brisbane Basketball Incorporated when the organisation was incorporated.
Since its formation, Brisbane Basketball has had a significant influence in all aspects related to the sport in Queensland. Over the years our teams have lead the way, in all age groups from seniors to juniors. We have produced a litany of Queensland Rep players, as well as many of the state’s top coaches, which include Vince Hickey, Robert Young, and Pam Hamilton-Smith, and many others. In the administration area, Brisbane again has had significant influence.
In 1979 The Brisbane Basketball Association were inaugural members of the National Basketball League, with the Brisbane Bullets who went on to win the NBL in 1985 and 1987. The association sold the Brisbane Bullets in 1991, basically to allow the Bullets to grow, and also to fund the advancement of the sport in Brisbane, and the funding of the Brisbane Lady Bullets (later the Brisbane Blazers) which they had entered in the WNBL in 1982. Brisbane Basketball relinquished their WNBL license in 1995.
In 1985 Brisbane Basketball entered teams, in both Men and Women, in the inaugral State Basketball League, originally teams were called Brisbane Brewers, which are now called the Brisbane Capitals, playing in the original SBL, now called the Queensland Basketball League. Our teams have faired well, winning the League many times with the women and once with the Men.
In 1989 Brisbane Basketball in conjunction with Southern Districts formed the GREATER BRISBANE BASKETBALL LEAGUE, in an attempt to produce a high quality competition for the senior players (both Men and Women) in our region. Two years later Southern Districts withdrew from the league, with BBI picking up the banner, to run with it. It has grown greatly, and now also caters for Silver and Under 23 players.
Brisbane Basketball has hosted many Australian Championships, the first in 1973, and in 1994 held the World Masters Games.
Our juniors have participated in the Various Queensland Championships, in boys and girls. Initially our players were part of the Metropolitan Zone, one of six/seven Zones which competed. This changed in 1986 when Basketball Queensland replaced the State Championships with the Queensland Basketball Classis, in which Associations could compete in their own right; at first Brisbane competed with one team, in each age group, called the Brisbane Metros. Later on, in an attempt to develop first year players, BBI entered the Brisbane Colts, in each age division. Today the Number 1 Brisbane Junior Rep team in an age group are all called Brisbane Capitals (in line with the senior program), with the second team “Silver”and sometimes a third team a “Bronze”. This method of naming came about due to confusion over the teams identity….with a “Gold” team playing in Blue uniforms.
Over the years, with the help of various full time/ part time/ and volunteer coaches have conducted many development programs, and these continue with much success.
The Brisbane Basketball Referees Association. is Queensland’s oldest referees association, and has been a leader in education, and referee numbers for many years. It provides all the referees required to conduct BBI’s fixtures. Its member, Scott Butler is a dual Olympian. .
Brisbane Basketball Incorporated continues to stand as one of the leading association, in Queensland, winning the prestigious Vince Hickey Award, for the State’s top junior association, on many occasions. Its standing is due to its strong club base, with mayor clubs, Lang Park, West Brisbane, North Brisbane, Western Magic and Northern Galaxy, continuing to grow, and develop ensuring Brisbane Basketball long term survival. Many volunteers, administrators, coaches, referees, and players have contributed to Brisbane Basketball’s continued success.
1962 – 1963 David White
1963 – 1979 Leo Moloney, Phil Russell, Peter Sutton, John Jauncey, Chris Toogood, Bill Hayes
1979 – 1984 Brian Shepherd
1984 – 1985 John Musgrove
1985 – 1994 Donald Coates
1995 – 1998 Steve Coyne
1998 – 2009 Denis Robson
2009 – 2011 Fred Van Dongen