History of the EPDBA
The East Perth District Basketball Association ( Inc. ) has a long and illustrious history and, having celebrated our 60th Anniversary in 2007, is the oldest Club / Association in the State Basketball League.
THE FORMATIVE YEARS
East Perth's history goes back to the formation of a Western Australian Basketball Association in 1946/47.
As a founding member of that Association, we have a proud history - not only on - court achievements, but in initiative and innovative, decisive planning that has helped establish guidelines for current basketball developments.
Originally known as the YCW - Highgate Basketball Club in 1946 - 47, and then as the Highgate Basketball Club from 1948, our teams were highly successful from the outset, and contested many finals.
Premiership success eluded the Club for the first ten years, but in the years afterwards, a total of 35 Premierships were won at various levels of Western Australian basketball.
The Club's teams were also highly sought after by country centres to provide exhibition games against aspiring local players. The Highgate club's motto was "Ask and we will come!" illustrating the Club's progressive and innovative outlook towards the development of basketball in Western Australia.
In 1956, along with YMCA (Perth), Highgate was a founding member of the Women's Division of the Western Australian Basketball Association.
In the women's competition the Eagles won four consecutive Premierships (1977 - 1980 inclusive), a feat that has not been repeated in Women’s District or SBL basketball to date.
Meanwhile, the Men's team have won four Premierships (1980, 1983, 1988 and 2014), whilst contesting the play - off rounds in most seasons.
THE BIRTH OF EAST PERTH
The Highgate Basketball club was given the task of combining all of the Basketball Clubs in the East Perth Football Club's broad catchment area to form a 'District' Club in 1972. This organisation was initially known as the North Eastern Suburbs Basketball Association, or NESBA, but changed the name in 1975 to East Perth District Basketball Association to more accurately reflect the Club's origins and the area represented.
IMPACT ON WA BASKETBALL
As an indication of the immense impact Highgate / East Perth people have had on Western Australian basketball, six of the first 15 Life Members of the Western Australian Basketball Federation, were from the Club.
Life Members inducted include Jim Gillam, Laura Gillam, Ron Matulich, George Adams, Alec Calander, Bob Kidner and Brian Spurge.
Basketball WA also presents the Gillam Trophy, which was donated by the Gillam Family in 1974, in recognition of the Champion Association in the WABL competition. As points are awarded for the number of teams entered, finals representation and premierships in the competition and are deducted for forfeits or team withdrawals during the season, the Champion Association is often the organisation that does the most for the game of basketball during the season. The Gillam Family are still represented at East Perth.
THE MODERN ERA
The Highgate / East Perth influence is still felt throughout Western Australian basketball circles, with many of our ex - members still being actively involved with many of the local Associations, WABL and SBL teams to this day.
Many players in the early Perth Wildcats teams were from East Perth, the most notable being Eric Watterson who played over 300 NBL Games.
Other Wildcats include:
- Neville Robb
- Ian Satie
- Adrian Majstrovich
- Justin Brown,
- Tom Garlepp,
- Jarrod Balcombe,
- Drew Williamson,
- Tom Jervis,
The club has also been home to some of the best Americans to come to WA; Steve Williams, Craig 'CJ' Jackson, Dan Hunt, Vince Kelley and John Culbertson to name a few.
The Eagles are a founder member of Basketball WA's State Basketball League (SBL), which is recognised as one of the Premier leagues in Australian Basketball.