Brorowa was originally formed by a group of Whyalla High School teachers in 1969, the name coming from the first few letters of the streets surrounding the school – Broadbent Tce, Roberts Tce and Walker Cres.
They were given the nickname of “the Chalkies” because they were all teachers and their uniform was all white with purple numbers and initially had a couple men’s teams in A grade and B grade and one Women’s team in A grade.
The teachers obviously had some basketball talent as they won the A grade premierships in 1970, 71, 72, 73 with players such as Warren Redman and Mike Osborne (who went on to become first coach of Adelaide 36ers NBL team) then with a new bunch of players in 1978 with leading player John Westphalen. Each of these 3 players also won a Men’s A grade MVP award while playing for Brorowa.
At this stage they were reliant on teachers coming into town serving their time then moving on. In the late 70’s another teacher, Mark Reilly, decided that the club needed to develop juniors and so he started coaching junior boys to become the future of the club. Their uniforms were also upgraded to be mainly purple with white trim and numbers. The club was being administered by Mark Reilly and Betty Isles through this time.
In the early 80’s after only fielding social teams in seniors and a few junior for a few seasons Trevor Castle left the powerful Magpies men’s A grade team and became a player coach of the club with the aim of forming a stable A grade team for the clubs junior to aspire to. At the same time the club changed its colours to Blue and Gold and became the Brorowa Bears. They were still a fairly small club with A grade men and a few social grades in Men’s and Women’s competition and a few junior teams.
The club battled to be competitive in A grade until some of its juniors started to come through in particular John Matthews and Robert Matthews (who won the Men’s A grade MVP in his first season out of under 16’s).
In 1984 / 85 Brorowa Bears returned to A grade grand final action losing to Spartans once then to Demons once. Through this time the team included names such as Robert and John Matthews, Greg Hayes, Ross Thompson, Greg Fuller, Greg Turner, Phil Twiggs, Brenton Williamson, Mark Heaney, Dean Plane and Trevor Castle.
Soon after this Robert Matthews left Whyalla to pursue a SANFL carrier with Woodville and Brorowa again struggled to compete. Long-time administrator Mark Reilly also left Whyalla around 1986/87 making it even more difficult for the club to survive.
The administration was taken over by Dean Plane before in 1988 Brorowa Bears had amalgamated with Nomads to form Whyalla Wildcats. Not long before the amalgamation Brorowa Bears defeated Spartans in the Spencer Hotel Super Challenge. This was a two game series where both local teams were able to include 2 imports as special guest players. Brorowa were able to include NBL Hall of Famer Al Green as well as a SEABL star Donnie Gibson.