Wessex Basketball Association celebrates 50th anniversary

The Wessex Basketball Association celebrated 50 years of providing local league basketball in Berkshire and North Hampshire on at the Oakley Hall Hotel.

Over 200 members attended, including the founder of Wessex Basketball Terry Barnett.

Area chairman Tim Brown MBE, newly-appointed to the Basketball England board, hosted the event, presenting 26 members with Hall of Fame inductee trophies for services to Wessex Basketball, either as volunteers, coaches, players or officials.

This included guest of honour Barnett, who has done so much for basketball during his life, and he received a congratulatory video message from Kriss Akabusi.

"We are proud of our history and continue to strive to improve and provide a platform for members to participate at whatever level they aspire to. Here's to another 50 years," said Brown. 

Wessex Basketball started as the Basingstoke league in 1969 with 20 teams in two men's divisions. It has grown considerably since then and now has 52 senior teams playing in three men's divisions and two women's divisions with cup and play off competitions.

Included in these totals are 18 out-of-area teams that requested to join. A number of the clubs also have teams that participate in the junior NBL and this is growing all the time. During its 50-year history, the Wessex Area has produced a number of players, coaches and officials that have gone on to participate at the highest levels, including the NBL, BBL, international level and at the London Olympics.