The engaging tale of an extraordinary Australian grass-roots basketball club's culture, commitment, conflict, combat and camaraderie.
Absurd, theatrical and comical, the curiously-named team Not Bad Thanks, born of London seed in 1980, takes 70 seasons to crawl from lowest F Grade in the open-age Victorian Business Houses Basketball Association in Melbourne to play at the A level. The Club grapples with tragedy, authority, an outing, generational challenges, equal opportunity, skill shortage, globalisation, an aging workforce, dysfunctional patrons, media scrutiny … and, premiership droughts. Premierships are won, though, but in weird circumstances.
Dubious links with notorious Great Train Robber, Ronald Biggs, triple Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva, NBA superstar Magic Johnson and The Harlem Globetrotters emerge, alongside songs and poetry, season dinners, crazy awards, impromptu late-night excursions, rules and rituals, facts and figures, and the organisation’s enduring creativity, intellect and non-conformity. Still, there’s unfinished business for the Club’s current eclectic crop of on-court ambassadors.
This is Graeme Willingham’s first book, but he has been a newspaper journalist
in Victoria and London, a Public Relations communicator in a variety of industry sectors, and an occasional travel writer. He has written for The Ballarat Courier, The Sun News-Pictorial and The Age in Victoria before news-editing a weekly business-industry magazine in London. He crossed over to PR back in Melbourne, just as Not Bad Thanks was born, in 1980.