Explore the history behind MCBA

09, November 2023

Discover the rich history of some of the major associations that have come together to form Melbourne's newest basketball association, MCBA.

Cyms Logo
CYMS (Catholic Young Men’s Society)

The CYMS Basketball Association is a longstanding sporting association which has operated basketball competitions in Victoria for over 70 years.  

It originated from a church organisation called the Catholic Young Men’s Society (CYMS) in the post WW2 era. It was involved in many sports (as a way to keep young men healthy, active and going to church in those days!) around Melbourne and Australia, including Basketball, AFL, Rugby and Swimming.  

 The CYMS Basketball Association was founded to concentrate on the sport of Basketball. CYMS had operated a Sunday Night competition in Albert Park for many, many years, commencing at the old VBA facility, then moving to MSAC as a founding basketball tenant when it was opened in 1997.  

CYMS Basketball Association’s 70+ year contribution to quality domestic basketball is consistently acknowledged and appreciated by both players and clubs.  

Under the presidencies of Harry Wileman, John Fogarty and Michael Goold CYMS aspired, in the words of its Constitution, to: 

“…the building of a more caring community through the team sport of basketball…” 

This also led to CYMS becoming a founding member of MCBA last year.  

CYMS Basketball Association personnel continue to be actively involved with MCBA, with Michael Goold chairing the Competitions Advisory Committee and venue manager on Sunday Nights, Glenda De Marinis currently an MCBA Board Member and Debbie Goold part of the employment team as MCBA’s Bookings Officer.  

We are proud of our history and are keen to continue to advance the benefit of Basketball through the continuing success of MCBA. 

Spartans Logo
Spartans (Metropolitan Southern Districts Basketball Association) 

MSDBA (Spartans) was formed in 1982 (over 40 years ago), as an amalgamation of two existing smaller inner-Melbourne associations.  The resulting board of trustees made a hugely successful decision in appointing Gordon Sincock into the role of President, a position he held for 33 years. Spartans grew under Gordon’s watch to become one of the most significant mid-week domestic competitions catering for thousands of men and women playing weekly basketball.  Gordon constantly looked to improve the offer to his teams and developed a loyal and committed group of scoretable officials, referees and competition staff, always looking for opportunities to develop others. 

Spartans became incorporated in 2018, and the current committee work hard to uphold Gordon’s beliefs in delivering a professional, fair, reliable and enjoyable mid-week competition, while also supporting those in our community who need extra help to achieve their basketball dreams. 

MBA (Melbourne Basketball Association) 

The Melbourne Basketball Association has its origins dating back to 1931 and the formation of the Victorian Basketball Association, being one of the four associations that formed the VBA (the other foundation associations were YMCA ,Presbyterian and Army). The MBA secretary Ken Watson became Secretary of the VBA and  Australia’s first Olympic basketball coach in 1956.  As Ken guided the growth of the sport across the state he continued his management of the MBA and was instrumental in the formation of the Melbourne Tigers club, that pioneered competition with USA college teams and European clubs.  Watson guided Australian basketball away from competition between states and into club competitions ensuring the strength and growth of clubs across the state and country.  The Melbourne Tigers (men) won the original South Eastern Conference every year during its existence between 1966 and 1971 when it was replaced by the National Invitation Basketball League.  The Tigers were originally excluded due to a limit of the number of Victorian clubs but later gained entry and won their first NBL title in 1993.   

Ken Watson handed the administration of the MBA to Lindsay Gaze and the association, through Lindsay’s ongoing stewardship, continues to operate senior domestic level competition (men and mixed) and endorses the participation of the Melbourne Tigers club through the newly formed Melbourne Central Basketball Association. 

Melbourne Tigers Logo
MTWBA (Melbourne Tigers Women’s Basketball Association) 

Ray and Sandra Tomlinson founded the Melbourne Tigers Women's Basketball club in 1980 with a junior girls team consisting of 7- and 8-year-olds  playing Saturday nights at Albert Park in what seemed like the Z grade at the time, and a senior team playing Wednesday nights.  Coached by Ray Tomlinson, 6 of the original junior girls’ team went on to finish 3rd at the U14 club championships, and they won the U18  State Championships and National Junior Classic. From these humble beginnings the club became a powerhouse in junior and senior women's basketball, attracting other great coaches like Paul Simpson, and spawning numerous state and national level players, including but not limited to, players like Kristi Harrower, Trish Fallon, Debbie Slimmon, Samantha Tomlinson, Michelle Brogan, Jo Metcalfe, Monique Conti, Allison Tranquilli (nee Cook) and Michelle Chandler. In addition, Kristi Harrower, Michelle Brogan and Trish Fallon all played in the WNBA.

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