The Australian Junior Championships form a vital pathway from participation through to elite competition for the nation’s junior athletes and also illustrates the strength of our country programs.
Under the current format for the Australian U14 Club Championships, the 24 teams are divided into six pools of four teams and play a round robin competition. The top two teams in each pool then play for the Championship Division and the teams placed third and fourth in each pool compete for the Shield Division.
The winner of the Australian U14 Boys Club Championships, will be presented with the Ken Watson Championship Trophy.
Ken is widely recognised as the patriarch of Australian basketball. He coached our Olympic men’s team in 1956 – the first time Australia was involved in the competition – and again in 1968 after Australia had become recognised as an emerging international contender. Although Watson made a major impact on the international level, his real love was guiding his junior teams. During the Second World War he almost single-handedly kept basketball alive in Melbourne by promoting junior participation and organising competitions. Watson is the only coach in Australia to have won five consecutive Australian under 14 national titles in the 1980’s and continued with coaching under 12 junior teams until he was in his late eighties. Although he is no longer with us, the legacy of Ken Watson lives on through the hundreds of players he coached over his long career.
The winner of the Australian U14 Girls Club Championships, will be presented with the Michele Timms Championship Trophy.
Timms is one of Australia’s best-known basketballers and the premier female point-guard this country has ever seen and the trophy was named in her honour in 2004.
Her career with the Australian Opals spanned 14 years, across 264 games. Her finest international triumph came in her swansong at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney where she captained the Opals to their best-ever finish, a silver medal.
Timms broke new ground for Australian women basketballers by becoming the first to play internationally when she went to Germany to play with the Lotus Munchen team. While there, she was named the Women’s International Player of the Year in 1994 and 1996.
Michele Timms was an extraordinary basketball player and whose success all young basketballers can strive to emulate.
Previous Australian U14 Club Champions
|Year||Ken Watson Trophy Recipient||Michele Timms Trophy Recipient|
|1970||Nunawading Spectres (VIC)|
|1971||Illawarra Hawks (NSW)|
|1972||Illawarra Hawks (NSW)|
|1973||Sturt Sabres (SA)|
|1975||Bulleen Boomers (VIC)|
|1976||Bulleen Boomers (VIC)|
|1977||Melbourne Tigers (VIC)|
|1978||Bulleen Boomers (VIC)|
|1979||Bulleen Boomers (VIC)|
|1980||Bulleen Boomers (VIC)|
|1981||Bulleen Boomers (VIC)||North Adelaide Bearcats (SA)|
|1982||St Kilda (VIC)||Bulleen Boomers (VIC)|
|1983||Nunawading Spectres (VIC)||West Adelaide Bearcats (SA)|
|1984||Melbourne Tigers (VIC)||Knox Raiders (VIC)|
|1985||Nunawading Spectres (VIC)||Bulleen Boomers (VIC)|
|1986||Melbourne Tigers (VIC)||Bulleen Boomers (VIC)|
|1987||Melbourne Tigers (VIC)||Canberra Capitals (ACT)|
|1988||Melbourne Tigers (VIC)||Melbourne Tigers (VIC)|
|1989||Melbourne Tigers (VIC)||Kilsyth Cobras (VIC)|
|1990||Newcastle Hunters (NSW)||Melbourne Tigers (VIC)|
|1991||Dandenong Rangers (VIC)||Bulleen Boomers (VIC)|
|1992||Werribee Devils (VIC)||Bulleen Boomers (VIC)|
|1993||Bulleen Boomers (VIC)||Sturt Sabres (SA)|
|1994||Dandenong Rangers (VIC)||Willetton Tigers (WA)|
|1995||Broadmeadows Broncos (VIC)||Bulleen Boomers (VIC)|
|1996||Willetton Tigers (WA)||Nunawading Spectres (VIC)|
|1997||Melbourne Tigers (VIC)||Dandenong Rangers (VIC)|
|1998||Dandenong Rangers (VIC)||Bulleen Boomers (VIC)|
|1999||Eltham Wildcats (VIC)||Nunawading Spectres (VIC)|
|2000||Melbourne Tigers (VIC)||Dandenong Rangers (VIC)|
|2001||Willetton Tigers (WA)||Melbourne Tigers (VIC)|
|2002||Nunawading Spectres (VIC)||Dandenong Rangers (VIC)|
|2003||Dandenong Rangers (VIC)||Dandenong Rangers (VIC)|
|2004||Sandringham Sabres (VIC)||Nunawading Spectres (VIC)|
|2005||Sturt Sabres (SA)||Melbourne Tigers (VIC)|
|2006||Norths Bears (NSW)||Willetton Tigers (WA)|
|2007||Knox Raiders (VIC)||Bulleen Boomers (VIC)|
|2008||Werribee (VIC)||Bulleen Boomers (VIC)|
|2009||Knox Raiders (VIC)||Dandenong Rangers (VIC)|
|2010||Melbourne Tigers (VIC)||Melbourne Tigers (VIC)|
|2011||Hills Hornets (NSW)||Bulleen Boomers (VIC)|
|2012||Dandenong Rangers (VIC)||Melbourne Tigers (VIC)|
|2013||Dandenong Rangers (VIC)||Southern District Spartans (QLD)|
|2014||Hawthorn Magic (VIC)||Norths Bears (NSW)|
|2015||Sturt Sabres (SA)||Bulleen Boomers (VIC)|
|2016||Sydney Comets (NSW)||Knox Raiders (VIC)|
|2017||Eltham Wildcats (VIC)||Bulleen Boomers (VIC)|
|2018||Eltham Wildcats (VIC)||Gold Coast Waves (QLD)|
|2019||Hills Hornets (NSW)||Hawthorn Magic (VIC)|
The winner of the Shield Division of the Australian U14 Boys Club Championships will be presented with the Phil Smyth Shield.
Inducted into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004, Phil Smyth had an outstanding career as a Boomer. Phil represented South Australia as a junior and senior and was first selected for Australia for the 1978 World Championships, held in Manila. Phil played in the NBL from 1982 through to 1995, hitting the court in a total of 356 games. He won three NBL Championships with the Canberra Cannons. He is ranked in the top ten in a number of NBL all-time statistics. He was names third in the NBL All-star team for the past 25 years. Phil retired as an athlete in 1994 and went on to be a very successful coach in the NBL with the Adelaide 36ers, coaching 365 games over 11 seasons, winning 205 games. Phil is one of the great basketballers produced by the Australian basketball system.
Rachael first represented Australia in the 1990 World Championship and competed in a total of three world Championships (1994 and 1998). Rachael was selected for her first Olympic Games in 1996, where she was a member of the first team to win an Olympic medal finishing with a bronze. She went on to win two silver medals in the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games.
Rachael was an excellent defender as well as being a great scorer, and was one of the most consistent players in the WNBL and also for Australia. SHe captained Australia on many occasions and was co-captain of the silver medallist Olympic teams of 2000 and 2004.
Previous Shield Recipients
|Year||Phil Smyth Shield Recipient||Rachel Sporn Shield Recipient|
|2010||Sutherland Sharks (NSW)||Southern Districts Spartans (QLD)|
|2011||Altona Gators (VIC)||Brisbane Capitals (QLD)|
|2012||Penrith Panthers (NSW)||Dandenong Rangers (VIC)|
|2013||Southern Peninsula Sharks (VIC)||Eastern Mavericks (SA)|
|2014||Stirling Senators (WA)||Cairns Dolphins (QLD)|
|2015||Willetton Tigers (WA)||Sturt Sabres (SA)|
|2016||Coffs Harbour Suns (NSW)||Manly Warringah Sea Eagles (NSW)|
|2017||Willeton Tigers (WA)||Ballarat Rush (VIC)|
|2018||Brisbane Capitals (QLD)||Coffs Harbour Suns (NSW)|
|2019||McKinnon Cougars (VIC)||Mackay Meteorettes (QLD)|
Basketball Australia Fair Play Award
As part of an ongoing strategy to promote respect of the officials by players, coaching staff and supporters Basketball Australia introduced an annual “Fair Play Award” to all Australian Junior Championships in 2003.
The award is to recognise the club that conducts itself in a respectful manner over the course of the Championship. Whilst the criteria for such an award has a degree of subjectivity, the overall ethos of the award overrides any problems with measurement or lack of objectivity.
The award, over time, is designed to:
– Promote sportsmanship at a young age
– Encourage respect for the officials
– Foster positive support of team by parents and supporters
– Reward responsible coaching, and
– Generally emphasise the positive values of RESPECT, COMPETITIVE UNDERSTANDING and COOPERATION.
The games played during the Championships are evaluated on 6 different criteria:
– Technical Fouls
– Positive Play
– Respect toward the Opponent
– Respect towards the Officials
– Behaviour of Team Officials (Coaching Staff, Managers etc.)
– Behaviour of Team Supporters
The Boys Fair Play Award is named in honour of Andrew Gaze who is recognised as one of the greatest basketballers to ever play for Australia.
He was named National Basketball League Most Valuable Player seven times, won two NBL Championships with the Melbourne Tigers and an NBA Championship with the San Antonio Spurs. Gaze first represented Australia as a junior in 1982 and went on to play in 307 international senior games for the Boomers. He captained the team from 1994 – 2000, leading the Boomers to their equal-highest finishing place, fourth, at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. Gaze competed at five Olympic Games and was given the honour of being the Australian flag bearer at the Sydney Olympics Opening Ceremony. He has contributed so much to the game of basketball, and continues to be involved in the game today as a member of the Basketball Australia and NBL Board and as a commentator, that it is only appropriate that this important award be named in his honour.
Jenny Cheesman played 167 games for the Opals between 1975 and 1988. She was the captain of the team from 1980 until the end of her career and also went on to be the Opals assistant coach from 1993-2000. While she was still playing at the highest level with the Opals, Cheesman was an assistant coach with the AIS program, taking over the head coach role for one year in 1990.
An all-round sportswoman, Cheesman was also a good netball and softball player.
She has contributed so much to the game of basketball that it is only appropriate that this important award be named in her honour.
Previous Fair Play Award Recipients
|Year||Andrew Gaze Fair Play Award||Jenny Cheesman Fair Play Award|
|2003||Nunawading Spectres (VIC)||Cockburn Cougars (WA)|
|2004||Newcastle Hunters (NSW)||Illawarra Hawks (NSW)|
|2005||Brisbane Capitals (QLD)||Townsville Fire (QLD)|
|2006||Northern Territory South Suns (NT)||Northern Tasmania (TAS)|
|2007||Northside Wizards (QLD)||North West Tasmania Thunder (TAS)|
|2008||Ipswich Force (QLD)||Alice Springs Suns (NT)|
|2009||Northern Territory South Suns (NT)||Northern Tasmania (TAS)|
|2010||Northern Territory North Geckos (NT)||Mandurah Magic (WA)|
|2011||Perry Lakes Hawks (WA)||Eastern Mavericks (SA)|
|2012||Bendigo Braves (VIC)||Canberra Capitals (ACT)|
|2013||Newcastle Hunters (NSW)||Perry Lakes Hawks (WA)|
|2014||Alice Springs Suns (NT)||Brisbane Capitals (QLD)|
|2015||Canberra Gunners (ACT)||Gosford City Rebels (NSW)|
|2016||Geraldton Buccaneers (WA)||North West Tasmania (TAS)|
|2017||Mackay Meteors (QLD)||Ballarat Rush (VIC)|
|2018||Warrnambool Seahawks (VIC)||Coffs Harbour Suns (NSW)|
|2019||Penrith Panthers (NSW)||Southern Tasmania Kangaroos (TAS)|