Find out about Hawthorn Magic’s longstanding history below. Create over 20 years ago.
WHO STARTED HAWTHRON MAGIC?
A new era of representative basketball for Hawthorn commenced in 1991 when Mike and Mishele Allen with significant support by Gary McDonald, put together a team from the newly formed domestic competition and entered it into the VMJBL Under 12 Boys competition.
The present blue and green colours were adopted and the team took up the Magic name. They were fortunate enough to attract Les Gells from Coburg to coach this fledging group, and it was Les who quickly recruited Mark Walker (Breakers) into the program.
Mike and Mishele ran the entire administrative side of the program for many years in the 1990’s. In just two decades, both the boys and girls programs have gone from playing in regional competitions to now playing, and being significant competitors for Victorian Championship titles.
During this critical formative time (in the 90’s) two things happened which cemented the future of Magic.
1. A girl’s program was implemented to run alongside the boys program.
2. The other was Les Gell bringing Milt and Poli Konstantinidis into the boy’s program. These coaches were primarily instrumental in developing Hawthorn boys teams to achieve and be successful in the Victorian Championships with only a handful of teams within the club.
After the 1999 season, the Hawthorn Magic boy’s program entered a rapid growth phase in its development. By 2000/2001 there were 10 boys teams and in 2001/2002 the club grew to 15 teams. In 2011, the boys program currently sits at 15 teams with the emphasis on quality competitive teams.
The girl’s program had a different history. Heather and Neil Williams together with Iain Pringle, Alan Marshall and Julian Bialecki, set up both an administrative and coaching structure to accommodate the huge demand for girls wanting to play representative basketball. The girls program really became established in 1994 with five teams and the number quickly doubled to 10 teams by 1997 and since then there has been a steady increase. In 2002 there were 14 Hawthorn Magic Girls representative teams and in 2011 there are still 14 teams representing the club. In 2009, in the Victorian Championship Competition, the Under 12 girls competed in a state final, finishing runners up. The best ever result for a Magic team.
Along the journey there have been many junior teams acheive great results at the National Junior Classic championships, however that elusive VC title still remains a key goal for the club. Another key goal for the club is to prepare players for our Big V senior teams and assist players who may be interested in going to college in the USA. Preparing players to achieve their dreams and goals start right from an early age……..
A corner stone of the Magic Program is the development of skills and Hawthorn runs development programs at an Under 10 level as an entry level into the Under 12 competitions.This program was introduced in 2008 and is significant in that it prepares our kids to enter the representative competition. Claude Contatore has been in charge of this program for the past few years and the benefit of this program is clearly evident with our under 12 and 14 boys and girls teams now finishing within the top 5 teams in the state for the past couple of seasons.
Another significant moment in the clubs history was in 2010 when the club appointed Kelly Breazeale as our Director of Coaching. Kelly has experience coaching at the highest level at college in the USA and has brought passion, enthusiam and professionalism to the club, as well as recruitment of a number of great new coaches into the program. With Kelly at the helm we are excited for what the future holds at the Magic.
Of course no club and team success comes without a successful administration. Initially the boys and girls program were organised by Mike Allen (boys) and Heather Williams (girls) with Mishelle Allen doing everything from treasurer to Uniform officer. in the 2000’s John Barry and Michael Penman took over running the club as two hard working committee members who ensured the adminstration and financial stability of the club. With a solid financial base the club has ensured that we can deliver a successful program that is resourced and competitive each and every friday night. In 2011, John and Michael retired from the committee and we welcomed a new administration with Jamie Keck coming on board as President. His charter; to drive the club to reach new heights.
In Closing, as well as the committee, Magic is well served by willing group of parents who spend their time ensuring that Magic works for their children and all of the Junior Magic Program. The success of Magic is completely dependent on this committee to manage its affairs. Magic has a volunteer group of dedicated parents whom with some dedicated coaches continue to take Hawthorn Magic Junior representative basketball to new heights and greater achievements.
Hawthorn Senior Representative teams
Hawthorn representative basketball with senior men dates back to the 1970s and were known as the Hawthorn Hawks.