For more than twenty years I was associated with Albert Park Basketball Stadium. It was started in the 1950’s as a way to promote the sport in Australia. American soldiers had brought the sport here in the 1940s and European migrants, fleeing the devastation of WW2 formed the backbone of the sport for many years. The late Ken Watson and his wife Betty were the driving force.
My family and I arrived at Albert Park in the early 1990s. Our sons were keen to stretch their skills and I quickly found myself coaching for the famed Melbourne Tigers, the most successful junior basketball club in Australia. I loved it and so did the boys.
As the years went by we got to know many of the characters around the game.
Even when the government decided to pull down the amazing old basketball complex and build a shiny new soulless complex the game continued on. I took up refereeing which extended my time long after our boys outgrew junior basketball.
The bloke in the photo was around for all of this time. He came from one of those war-torn countries and when this photo was taken, his hip was so bad that he could barely walk but he turned up every Thursday night to coach his team. They were a pleasure to referee. They were tough but they were successful even though they were not young. They did it with skill and knowledge and discipline. Their coach had a lot to do with their success.

12 thoughts on “Coach.

    • It was a very interesting time for many many reasons. It finished very badly. There are a heap of stories to tell but more time needs to go by and there are better stories to tell in the mean time.
      Thanks for the comments.


  1. What a terrific sport. The basket ball hoop is pretty much ubiquitous outside many homes in so many parts of the world. What an achievement for the coach-and for you-for having done so much to encourage the sport.


    • As I mentioned to someone else………. so many stories. One short one for you. 1974 and a bunch of sixth graders [not mine] come up to me in the playground and ask me if I will teach them how to play basketball. I say yes even though I had never played the game. I buy a couple of books, read the rules and announce that anyone who would like to learn how to play BB should turn up after school on the next Thursday. About 40 kids turn up, boys and girls, and away we go……… interestingly…. the kids that first asked me NEVER turned up! Spooky. 40 years later and hundreds of kids in dozens of teams 11 championships and 16 runners up and the kids who started it never turned up. Isn’t that interesting?


      • Ah, that just all goes to prove what a bluffer you are! You started off a superb coaching lifetime by offering to teach BB when you didn`t even know the rules yourself! Love it!


        • When you are young you think you are invincible, and I learned early on that anything you want to know is between the covers of a book…….. I just needed to find that book! A bit of bluff goes a long way, don’t you think?


          • That bit of bluff brought a whole lot of people very far indeed. Really, it`s about confidence, isn`t it? And the courage to take risks. And obviously, that worked out really well for all who followed your lead.


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