Basketball Ballarat will celebrate the end of an era when the Hotondo Homes Ballarat Miners and Selkirk Ballarat Rush play their last Double-Header together at the MARS Minerdome on Saturday Night against the Melbourne Tigers.
Both teams will wear iconic retro jerseys and shorts celebrating two iconic Championships. The Hotondo Homes Ballarat Miners will wear a 1989 Miners Replica kit while the Selkirk Ballarat Rush will wear a 1999 Lady Miners replica kit.
Both jerseys list names of the players from these particular championship teams and 1989 Miners Captain Glenn White was thrilled to see the iconic strips hit the courts once again.
“It’s a blast from the past and makes me really proud to see the new era of Miners players wearing the exact same replica jerseys that we did in 1989.’ White said.
The designs down to the finer details have been replicated to ensure they are as close to the design as possible and it has brought back many memories for the former players.
“My favourite memory was 1989 because we achieved so much beating the Melbourne Tigers in the Victorian Championships I don’t think anyone thought we had a chance to beat that team.” White mentioned.
The Rush who were previously called the Lady Miners have replicated the 1999 Championship winning jersey after being the underdogs in the finals series; Kym Cassels reflected on this particular year.
“1999 was a year where we weren’t expected to win having won the last 4 championships. Finishing third on the ladder we went in as underdogs so it made the win even more special.” Kym said.
Being the last time that the Miners and Rush will play together at the MARS Minerdome has come with mixed emotions for Basketball Ballarat CEO Peter Eddy.
“It is a mixed emotions to be moving on from the Minerdome for our elite teams, but the Association has always been one to look forward and to make the most of any opportunity to grow and develop.” Eddy said.
For the Hotondo Homes Ballarat Miners they will still host NBL1 finals at the MARS Minerdome after securing top spot on the ladder.
“While I am a little sad, I am also excited by the potential the new Ballarat Sports Events Centre (BSEC) venue will give our teams not only for feature games but finally after all these years to provide a home training base and centre for our elite teams.
While we celebrate the era for both Miners and Rush, there are many memories for all participants over the years at the MARS Minerdome.
“It seemed fitting to celebrate the Minerdome era and to acknowledge some of the great achievements of our senior Men’s and Women’s programs as a part of Basketball Ballarat’s rich history. While the future is exciting we should never forget the past and the efforts by so many to make Basketball Ballarat what it is today, both on and off the court.” Eddy ended with.
Partnerships Manager Andrew Day said the weekend is really important to honour the 50 years of memories for the entire Ballarat Community who have set foot in the Minerdome and the Retro Kits were to add to the celebrations.
“We wanted to honour everyone over the past 50 years who have visited the stadium and working with Spalding to replicate the 89′ & 99′ Jersey’s is a fun way to add to the night and farewell the Minerdome” Day said.
The Retro Jersey Kits will be available for purchase with the proceeds going to the Basketball Ballarat Foundation supporting junior development. Click here to purchase