Basketball in Ballarat will reach a special milestone on Friday when it celebrates its 70th anniversary of competition.
The Ballarat Basketball Association held its first round of matches in the city on June 14, 1949.
It started with six open aged men's teams, as well as six under-19 junior teams and had a total of 83 registered players. Played out of the Wesley and Pleasant Street church halls, the competition served as the forerunner for the city's governing body which is known today as Basketball Ballarat.
Basketball Ballarat historian, and former coach and administrator, Ron Holmes remembers the old days well. Having been a part of the early days as a player, the 86-year-old said he could not believe how big the game has grown in the time since.
"Games started at Wesley Hall in primitive conditions with no amenities," he said.
"The inaugural committee of 1949 could not comprehend how the future growth of basketball could extend to this magnitude of now 12 courts and amenities in 70 years."
Over the years the game grew, progressing rapidly between 1950 and 1960 that the church halls could no longer accommodate the demand. Games were soon moved to a YMCA Olympic-sized court on Camp Street.
But things changed permanently with the construction of Ballarat's first two-court stadium in 1969 which later became known as the Minerdome.
The facility laid the platform for the games continued growth. And it paved the way for Ballarat's first professional full-time manager and coach Brendan Hackwill.
"He attracted kids to the game and knew how to develop them," said Holmes.
"He was an ex-Olympic player and his influence was instrumental to kids playing in Ballarat representative teams."
Today the game is reaching unprecedented heights in the city. Recently Basketball Ballarat registered 500 teams in the 2019 championship season.
And with a new eight-court facility set to come online next month, the game is only getting bigger.