Club History


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Origins

Latrobe Basketball Association Inc. is an original member club of the NWBU, which was formed in 1974. However, even though records are sketchy, it is believed basketball started in the area about 1946 and was introduced to the area by servicemen returning from World War 2. The sport has been played at a number of venues throughout Latrobe - at the old Drill Hall (now a private residence) - then in the Latrobe Memorial Hall, moving to the Latrobe and Districts Youth Centre in 1974.

The decision to build the Youth Centre was made in 1969, and a band of dedicated workers, lead by the late Mr. Paul Lowry, worked slowly and surely towards the completion of the building. The community banded together to raise the funds, along with the local council and a government grant. The building was officially opened by the then Premier, the Hon. E.E. Reece on 12th October, 1974 and remains the primary venue for basketball in the area.

There have been many changes to basketball at Latrobe since it began, from the original local rosters for teams made up predominantly of farmers and church groups to the semi-professional NWBU teams of today.

The original NWBU competition catered for Senior Men and Women and U/18 boys - and consisted of only 6 teams – Smithton and Somerset  joining the NWBU at a later date.
Latrobe’s 3 teams in it’s inaugural season were coached by the same person - Gary Davenport - also a player in the men’s team.

The decision taken by many clubs to have "Import Players"  as part of their team has had a huge impact on the competition.
Initially, teams were allowed 2 such players, but now, only 1 foreign player per team is allowed. 

Premierships

To date, Latrobe has had limited success in the Senior Men’s competition - winning it’s first ever premiership in 1991. That team consisted of a very strong contingent of local players, along with American imports Willie Joseph and Arne Duncan plus Paul Simpson - a Queensland local who had re-located. In 1995, the team celebrated a rare double premiership - the men once again being lead by Willie Joseph and Paul Simpson and the women claiming their first ever premiership courtesy of American import Debbie Black along side Mandy Bonney and a very dedicated group of local players. The women have gone on to many more titles - 2000, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013.

Now...

The club, which is run solely by volunteers, also enters teams in the Junior NWBU competition and runs social rosters for all age groups, men and women and tournaments throughout the year.

The club emblem is the Demon, colours are red and blue and the club song is "It’s A Grand Old Flag".