Mike Osborne is a name that crops up often through the pages of the history of Whyalla basketball.
Mike was only in Whyalla for 4 years, from 1972 to 1976 but this was a critical time in Whyalla basketball. This was the time when we moved from the 3 bitumen court open air “facility” on McBryde Tce ( Mike’s memory was a bit confused as he refers to Broadbent Tce) to indoor courts, firstly at the then new Whyalla Leisure Centre, then eventually to our own stadium at Jubilee Park.
Mike greatly influenced the playing style of Whyalla basketball concentrating on skill development and then introducing a range of offensive and defensive team structures and strategies. He worked especially hard with a fairly small group of Under 16 then Under 18’s. Apart from teaching the skills of the game he also showed that basketball didn’t have to be just a sport to play to keep fit for footy. It was and is a sport worthy of someone’s total dedication and if you work hard enough at it you can end up representing your country.
In this interview with Jacob Castle, Mike talks about some of the better players in Whyalla at the time as well as some of the very early days of the National Basketball League, where Mike was the first coach of the Adelaide 36ers.