Sale basketball goes back

Representatives from Sale basketball’s club system are throwing a reunion this weekend. Players from the 1970s and 80s will find heaps of photos and memorabilia, and a chance to catch up with old friends. Pictured at the OA Ruff Stadium, former home of Sale basketball, are Giants’ Narelle Alexander (nee Castle), Joan Short, Hustlers’ 
Karen Deschepper (nee Short), Wildcats’ Jenny Murphy (nee Brewer), Wildcats’ Max Quirk, Giants’ and Tornados’ Yvonne ay and Hustlers’ Warren Jones.

Representatives from Sale basketball’s club system are throwing a reunion this weekend. Players from the 1970s and 80s will find heaps of photos and memorabilia, and a chance to catch up with old friends. Pictured at the OA Ruff Stadium, former home of Sale basketball, are Giants’ Narelle Alexander (nee Castle), Joan Short, Hustlers’ Karen Deschepper (nee Short), Wildcats’ Jenny Murphy (nee Brewer), Wildcats’ Max Quirk, Giants’ and Tornados’ Yvonne ay and Hustlers’ Warren Jones.

SALE Amateur Basketball Association will host a reunion for people involved in the club from 1977 to 1983 this weekend.

The reunion will begin on Saturday at 2pm with a meet and greet at the Lakeside Club, where there will be a display of SABA memorabilia.

An exhibition basketball match, featuring players from the past, will be played at the Gippsland Regional Sports Complex on Cobains Rd from 3.30pm.

Afterwards, drinks and nibbles will be held at the Lakeside Club from 7pm.

There will be more catching up at the Lakeside Club on Sunday.

Former players gathered on Friday at OA Ruff Stadium, the former home of Sale basketball, to discuss the reunion, all of them very excited.

Back in the late 1970s, an estimated 10 per cent of Sale's entire population was playing basketball, they said.

One hundred and twenty teams travelled from across Victoria to compete at the famous Easter tournaments, and the game was played seven days a week, with the first game at 4pm to the dreaded 10.10pm match.

The clubs system led to strong rivalries and friendships from across Gippsland, as squads aggressively recruited from as far away as the Latrobe Valley.

The weekend promises to be a fun recognition of basketball's golden age in Sale, though organisers admit the exhibition match will involve a lot of changeovers.

As well as former players, the coaches, parents, and support staff are all encouraged to attend, as well as any modern basketballers who may be interested in seeing some vintage photos and retro uniforms.

Yvonne May played for the Giants and the Tornados, and said it was a hyper-competitive time in Sale.

"It was dog eat dog we're all very friendly now but we weren't in those days," she laughed.

Organiser Karen Deschepper agreed.

"It was a real community," she said.

"There were complaints in the Gippy Times from other sporting clubs saying that we had basketball seven days a week, and we weren't giving the children the opportunity to play other sports."

Entry costs $20 per person, covering a free beer, house wine or soft drink and finger food.

For catering and planning purposes RSVP by as soon as possible via the "Sale Basketball Club System Reunion Weekend" Facebook page or by texting Karen at 0408 517 000.

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