From humble beginnings in 1963, in an old shopfront in Lillian Street, Bulleen, the Bulleen-Templestowe Youth Club was formed offering many activities, including basketball. Embraced by the local communities, the club quickly grew.
By 1967, the club’s expansion was such that an official home was needed and the Thompson Road gymnasium was opened. Two years later, the basketballers initiated their own club and the Bulleen Templestowe Basketball Club (BTBC) was born. This was the start of an amazing 50 year journey that carries on today.
BTBC entered their first junior boys team in the VJABC in 1971 with the U12’s team finishing in second place. The same team brought home the club’s first ever state title in 1973.
The club’s home courts in Sheahans Road were opened in 1974, and are still the club’s home to this day. Funded by a club co-operative, of which some members are still part of the club!
The first BTBC girls teams arrived in 1974 and within one year, had won their first Division 1 Women’s Team with Robbie Cadee coaching. This was also the year Bulleen became affiliated with the VABA and the BTBC U14 Boys qualified for the Australian Club Championships for the very first time. The BTBC U14 Boys defeated Vermont 70 – 20 and achieved the Club’s first National title.
Between 1975 and 1981, BTBC dominated the U14 National Club Championships, winning 6 titles over these seven years. The club’s success highlighted when in 1980, the girls teams won all age groups in the Victorian Championships – U12, U14, U16 and U18. The boys teams won two – U12 and U14 – making a club total of six wins for the year, an exceptional result.
The BTBC men’s team won the club’s first SEABL Championship in 1984, the same year BTBC secured a licence to join the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) – a major club milestone that culminated with the BTBC women winning the WNBL title in 2011.
Throughout the BTBC club’s history, there has been many outstanding highlight years, such as:
- 2009 – The Bulleen Boomers WNBL team made their first WNBL Grand Final, but just go down 58 – 61 to the Canberra Capitals. The U12 girls and U14 boys both win gold at the National Junior Classic. A triple treat in the Victorian Championships with the U12 girls, U14 girls and U12 boys all taking out the title.
- 2011 – In addition to the WNBL title, the BTBC Junior Championship program continued to shine, with 5 girls and 3 boys selected for State teams. The BTBC’s best year for a long time at the National Junior Classic, with 2 gold and 3 bronze medals – The club’s first ever Classic title in the U12 boys and the U18 girls take the gold for the first time since 1987. The BTBC U14 girls win the Australian U14 Club Championships as well as the Victorian Championship title. And the BTBC U16 Boys also take home the Victorian Championship title.
- In 2018 the BTBC U14 girls represented Asia-Pacific in the NBA Junior Championships in Florida, USA after winning the national championship. Another first!
- The BTBC has won more girl’s under 14 national club championships then any other club in Australia.
The BTBC has forged pathways to success from grassroots right through to victory at the elite level. Our primary school competition, involves over 120 teams from 15 local schools and has given many their start in basketball over the last 40 years.
With close to 200 men’s, women’s and mixed teams competing at various grades, our Senior Domestic competition has been running for nearly 50 years. We have around 170 junior teams entered each season in the EDJBA with four senior teams competing in the BIGV each season.
From our simple start, the BTBC has grown into it’s great success. Through the hard work on the court and by all those that support the club, we have become a respected and influential club, not just locally, but for Victoria and Australia too.