The Knights Basketball Club came into being at the start of the 1957/8 season with the formation of an U16 boys team to enter the new competition created by the association. The team was made up by a number of school friends and who played colts football for either Central or North. They were :- Terry Constable, Keith Lenon, Alex Wilkins and Michal Nichols (Central) and Vic Stringer, Graeme Stringer, Brian Scott and John Anstey (North).
Current Tigers men’s captain Parker Dix took the reins as coach and this team went on to win the first three premierships in this division, coincidentally by two points each time and all against a luckless Giants team. Along the way ,however, because of players’ ages they peeled off each year to form a fledgling men’s team, joined by Parker Dix.
Newcomers to the U16 team in this period included John Harrington and Trevor Selby, who played colts for Central and West respectively. Following the hat-trick of premierships the junior side went into a rebuilding mode but within two seasons had made it to the grand final with a very young and inexperienced team.
Following this and leading up to the 1962/3 season I was given the honour of taking over this team of prodigies as coach, and the team went on to remain undefeated for the next two seasons and also finished runners-up in the state U16 championships despite never playing indoors or on a board court before.
Stars in this side included Bruce Bernhardt (the MVP), Barrie Robran (Triple Magarey Medalist later in the SANFL), Geoff Raneberg ,Dan Chandler, Max Boase and Alan Zerna, among others.
The men’s team was formed in 1958/9 and gradually improved over the years with Parker Dix and star MVP player Terry Constable leading the way and found its way to the grand final in 1961/2 but were handed out a hiding by Postal Institute.
Then near the start of the following season the team’s fortune took a massive leap in a very unusual way. – During regular matches at the old aerodrome courts, a man who nobody recognised and was not tall in stature was asking around about his chances of joining a team and had no luck until he walked up to a group of Knights players, and when he gave them his name, a great scramble ensued to get him signed up immediately. He was none other than Algis (Algy) Ignatavicius, an expatriate Lithuanian champion who had gained Australian citizenship and had starred for Australia in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
Knights went on to win its first A premiership that season coincidentally by two points and would you believe it, it was against Giants!!!