Kalamunda & Districts Basketball Association

The original basketball competition began in 1968 on two outdoor bitumen courts that existed on the Kostera Oval reserve behind the cricket club rooms.

The Kalamunda and Districts Basketball Association (KDBA) was then incorporated on October 1st, 1971.

For several years, games were played in the evenings by adults during the summer months. In 1975, four bitumen outdoor courts were constructed at Ray Owen Reserve along with some basic change rooms.  KDBA funded the change rooms on a self-supporting loan of $30,000. (These original change rooms are now part of the football club rooms.)

A short time later Netball started at Ray Owen and eight more outdoor courts were constructed (as exists today).

A gate fee was collected as players and spectators passed through a large turnstile.  The car park was gravel and the dust from exuberant drivers frequently covered the courts. The courts were sloped and you tossed a coin for direction of play. It’s hard going uphill in the second half. The tuckshop was conducted from a caravan.

Again, this was only a summer competition. Many players from throughout the Perth metropolitan area played here as at that time it was only one of several large competitions.

Netball used the courts during the winter months. Kalamunda and Districts Netball Association (KDNA) was incorporated on September 6th, 1984.

In 1985, after several years of intense negotiation, the Ray Owen Sports Centre was constructed over the first four courts. These courts were still coved to allow water runoff and the concrete light pylon blocks were still visible in the bitumen.

The original self-supporting loan on the building of $114,000 was shared equally between KDBA and KDNA. The building was also funded by the Shire of Kalamunda and The Department of Youth, Sport & Recreation.

The Ray Owen Management Committee was formed to manage the affairs of the Stadium and was one of the first Local Government Management Committees to ever exist.  It still manages the building today.

In 1991, KDBA re-affiliated with Basketball Western Australia (BWA) after a number of years outside the mainstream system.

As the competition grew, there were plans formed to replace the bitumen courts with sprung boards. In another jointly funded project, the first two courts were replaced in 1993 ($139,550) and the second two in 1997 ($146,000). The Associations funded their contributions from existing funds and did not borrow for these improvements.

By this time basketball was being played three nights a week until 11pm and inter-district sides all trained in any venue available except Ray Owen. Through 1994 to 1996 many meetings were held with the Shire and Netball regarding a possible extension to the Stadium, but not much progress was made.

Then in September 1996 an application was made to the Shire and Ministry of Sport & Recreation for the construction of two additional courts at the northern end of the stadium. Several years of intense lobbying and hard work resulted in their construction in 1998 at a cost of over $800,000. A loan was raised for $250,000 by KDBA and the rest funded by the Shire and DSR. KDNA agreed to allow the construction and to contribute to the ongoing maintenance of all the courts but did not contribute to the construction.

These courts were officially opened on July 2nd, 1998.

10pm-11pm timeslots were now a thing of the past.  WABL teams could now train in the stadium and a mixed basketball competition was started on a Friday night.

In 2005 the original loan on the building was completed by KDNA and KDBA. The final stage of the Centre became the focus and in March 2005 application was made to the Shire for funds to design a proper kiosk area and additional storage for possible wheelout seating.  During the planning stage the need to take pedestrians off the baseline area was also addressed. An application was made for funding from DSR in September 2005 and we were successful in obtaining a grant for $179,595 in March 2006.

These additions are being funded jointly by KDNA, KDBA , Shire of Kalamunda and DSR. The projected cost of the improvements $663,000. As a result of the Federal Government election of 2007, the Associations secured a Federal Govt grant of $180,000 to cover the community contribution to the project. The project commenced in July 2007 and is due for completion in 2008.

KDBA secured a Men’s and Women’s State Basketball League license for 2008 with the teams named Eastern Suns. Inaugural coaches are Joe Mackay – Men’s and Craig Mansfield and Rob Butt as Women’s. The men’s team had two imported players and one NBL player (from the Sydney Kings) and the women’s team had two WNBL (Perth Lynx) players. Both teams were considered highly competitive in the competition.

In July, 2008 the U/16 Men’s and Women’s National Championships will be hosted by KDBA with 110 games fully timed games occurring over 8 days with teams from all over Australia and also from New Zealand.

Eastern Suns

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In 1991 after a period of non affiliation with Basketball WA, it was decided to enter Kalamunda (KDBA) teams as the Kalamunda Hornets in the W.A Junior State League competition. Players previously had to play for Swan Mustangs (SDBA) at the Junior State League Level in earlier years.

For a number of years Kalamunda and Swans both entered about 9 – 12 of the 14 available divisions and were not hugely successful. Basketball WA sought to fill all divisions and encouraged the amalgamation of Swans and Kalamunda to fill all of the divisions. Mundaring (HRBA) saw this as an opportunity for their players to access this level of competition. Players were polled and success was their focus so the Association of Eastern Region Basketball Association Inc, playing as EASTERN SUNS was formed in 2001.

Inaugural President was Bob Little (HRBA President & Life Member SDBA) and each Association had two representatives. KDBA had one from the Parents and one from the Committee.

Colours were white, ochre, green & gold to represent the Eastern Region. Training was held at Kalamunda for Junior’s and Swans for U/18 and over.  50% of the games were played at Kalamunda Stadium and 50% were played at Swan Park. In the first year 4 teams made finals. Each Association had contributed $5000.00 in cash or in kind (Training Time), to establish Eastern Suns.

HRBA Eastern Suns won the Under 23 Division in 2003. Terry Rolfe was Chairman in 2003 & 2004 and Rob Gordon was Chairman in 2004 & 2005.

ERBA was represented by two persons from each association and initially there was input from all Associations.

However this deteriorated when Swans (SDBA) was in financial difficulty with increasing debt to BWA.

KDBA was in a position to seek a license from the SBL but was unwilling to assume the SDBA debt as part of their license. (In excess of $40,000) Swan City Mustangs SBL and Association ceased to operate.

In 2005 Basketball WA indicated that they would not be happy with the Eastern Suns (ERBA) having SDBA as part of the structure at either WABL or SBL level. They were only prepared to support an affiliated Association as the governing body of the WABL program. In 2005, 10 teams went to WABL finals from ERBA Eastern Suns.

There were a series of meetings where SDBA maintained they still existed and HRBA sought to have representative involvement. Subsequently HRBA declined to remain involved. At this stage there was a suggestion that an SBL licence could be issued in 2007. ERBA – Eastern Suns was formally wound up at a meeting on 12/01/2006.

A KDBA steering committee was formed with Paula Gray as Chairperson of the Kalamunda Eastern Suns in March 2006. A competition was held for the logo design and the colours of Orange, White, Blue and Gold were accepted subsequently in May 2006.

Subsequent Chairpersons were Carly Mansfield in 2007 and Terry Rolfe in 2008 and 2009. Teams continued to be successful with about 9 – 10 teams making finals each year. Nicole Mansfield coached the Under 14 Touring Team to the National U/14 Club Championship in 2006.

A formal approach to join the State Basketball League (SBL) was made and initial indications were that 2007 would be possible. Subsequently, BWA made a statement in March 2007 that Kalamunda Eastern Suns could enter the SBL competition with both Men’s and Women’s teams in 2008. Head coaches Joe Mackay and Craig Mansfield were appointed in early 2007 to head a program which took the teams to Women’s 4th in 2008 and Men’s 9th in 2008. Import players Steve Newman and Joe Nixon greatly improved the skills of the men’s team.

2009 saw the return of Joe Nixon and also the addition of Adrian Majstrovich (ex Wildcat & International Player), to the Mens Squad. Ben Smith (ex KDBA Juniors), was appointed Captain of the Men’s Team. The Womens Team were added to by Sam Norwood and a number of WNBL Lynx players. Coaches Craig Mansfield and Robbie Butt took the Men to 7th and the Womens to 6th in 2009. Ten Eastern Suns WABL teams went through to finals in 2009.

In mid 2009, Peter Hanson (KDBA President), also became the Chairman of Eastern Suns Basketball.

SBL Coaches for 2010 were Ash McCormack for the Men’s program and Craig Mansfield returned to the Women’s program.

Naming rights for the SBL were secured with AND1 (USA) and with it came “The Chosen One”, Kenny Brunner, as our only Import player. Other major players were Adrian Majstrovich and Justin Brown (ex Roleystone Juniors) who both have extensive International experience.

The 2010 Season was not a great success with many games lost by less than 5 points. Suns Men and Women did not play finals in 2010. The Women’s SBL squad was a very young side with a number of State U/16 players featuring.