Norths Men

The origins of the Norths Basketball Club began in 1964 when the Canberra High Basketball team, called "REBELS" and coached by Ron Harvey, won the NSW Schools Basketball Cup.

The side decided to nominate a team in the ACT Men’s 1st Division Competition (then played at the YMCA in Civic) as “BOUNCERS”. The team members were Brian Harry, Neil Richardson, Robert Hobson, Richard Ryan, Glen Spooner, Zdencko Horachec, Ian Ellis and John McPherson. There was some debate as to whether a team of 16 and 17 year olds were mature enough to play at this level, but the team was finally accepted. The team exceeded all expectations and made the Grand Final in the first season (defeated by Sabres). The team again made the Grand Final in the second season of 1964 and this time were successful. Over the following year two of the original members were called up for National Service (Brian Harry and Zdencko Horachec). John McPherson also left the team during this period. Two additional players were recruited, Richard Sliwka from Queanbeyan and Robert Kershaw from Lyneham.

During the following year John Heard joined the team following his transfer to Canberra from Adelaide. John was the captain of the Australian Olympic team that competed at the Tokyo Olympics. In 1967 Henry Kolac from Telopea Park High School, was added to the team.

1967 Bouncers from left to right Ian Ellis, Robert Hobson, Richard Sliwka, John Heard,
Neil Richardson, Henry Kolac, Glen Spooner, Robert Kershaw, Richard Ryan
and Coach Ron Harvey.

Bouncers continued to be successful over the next few years and were premiers in every 1st Div Season until 1968, when there was a decision to split into two teams – Bouncers Gold and Bouncers Blue. The teams were still very strong in the competition and were in the top three positions in every season.

In 1969 ACT Basketball introduced the foundations of the current club structure and clubs were allocated districts or areas of Canberra to operate from. The two Bouncers teams became Bouncers North and Bouncers South. For a period the club was named North’s Spirits following the sponsorship of a local liquor outlet.

The name was changed to Norths in the late 1970s. The senior men used to train at St Edmunds college and the junior teams trained all over the inner north.

There had always been a strong connection between the club and the Canberra Cannons, with Ian Ellis, Les Hurst (Natilie Hurst's dad) and Adam Kendrick playing in the Cannons through the 1980s. Neil Richardson, Les Hurst, Jim Cotta, Nick Gascoine and Ian Ellis all played in the first year of the NBL in 1979, in which the Cannons lost the Grand Final to St Kilda by 1 point.  Jamie Pearlman who started playing as an Under 12 with Norths in 1982 and right through to Senior 1st division in 1996, had a stellar career playing over 180 games with the Cannons (more than any other local player) from 1995 to 2000 and winning best defensive player each year.

Norths have had a number of key players in the Canberra Gunners through the 1990s; Dan Richardson, Russ Livermore, Adam Kendrick and Dan Godwin spring to mind. Dan Richardson captained the Gunners for a long time. John Holden followed later on.

Jamie Pearlman played with the Gunners from 1990 - 1994, winning MVP for his last 2 years and in 1994 won SEABL youth player of the year. In recognition of Jamie's stellar basketball career in Canberra a competition run by Basketball ACT for Canberra Primary Schools, 'The Jamie Pearlman Cup' is named after him.

More recently Norths have had a number of juniors represent Australia in the junior ranks as well as earn scholarships in the USA college system. There is also a current group of Norths juniors that have flowed through to the Canberra Gunners, Gunners Academy and the Canberra Nationals women and Nationals Academy teams.

Norths Women

In 1969 ACT Basketball introduced the foundations of the current club structure and clubs were allocated districts or areas of Canberra to operate from. One of the requirements for newly nominated clubs was to have a Men’s and a Women’s program. This led to the “marriage” of the North’s Men’s Club and the Griffin’s Women’s Club.

The evolution of the Women's group of the Club is currently being researched. If you have information on the history of the women involved in the Norths Basketball Club please contact Norths Web Manager