Basketball at VUT has an interesting history
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Basketball at VUT has an interesting history

VUT basketball team

Staff reporter

In 1995 history was made in Vanderbijlpark when the very first fixtures of the Vaal Triangle basketball league were played. A total of 23 teams entered that league (nine in the men’s A league, nine in the B league and five in the women’s league). All matches were played at the Isak Steyl Stadium.

Basketball was non-existent at Vaal Triangle Technikon (VTT) prior to 1994. It was through the hard work and foresight of the very first basketball coach, Susan de Bruyn, that this sport was introduced at this institution. This did not come easily – there was a lot of opposition and a shortage of funds.

Susan de Bruyn was told in no uncertain terms by the Director of Sport at her interview for the job, that basketball would not be welcomed as a sport at VTT. Her only interest was in rugby. She did not have the foresight to see that sport and everything else at the Technikon – and country – would change very soon.

Susan de Bruyn was not deterred and indicated to the members of the panel who interviewed her that basketball was the fastest-growing sport in South Africa and that if she got the job, she would introduce basketball with or without the financial support of the institution.

She got the job.

1994 arrived. With no money available for basketball in the VTT sports budget, but now with approval from the VTT management, Susan de Bruyn was told that if she could get boards sponsored, she could go ahead and use one netball court at the stadium.

Through a contact at SA Breweries she managed to get basketball boards sponsored for one court at Isak Steyl Stadium, as well as a board that was placed in the parking area between Quarta and Septima hostels.

The board that was placed at the hostels was put up with the idea of attracting people who were interested as well as giving players who were staying in the hostels the opportunity to go out and train between classes.

Within 24 hours of erecting the boards, an overwhelming number of keen players arrived and not a single one of them had played basketball before! The coach ended up coaching

Mondays to Fridays till 9pm. As there was no budget, all balls were sponsored by Susan de Bruyn for the first two years.

The first big tournament that VTT participated in was held at Medunsa over a very cold long weekend in June and, as the Director of Sport still refused to allocate enough money for basketball, the team only had enough money to travel there and back.

The Medunsa basketball students accommodated the team in their rooms where they all slept on the icy floors and had cold showers in the dressing rooms. Those hardships created an unbreakable bond between them. The team consisted of white and black, AWB, ANC, PAC, Greek, Portuguese and French players from SA as well as the old Congo. All of them were men.

The club has since grown to be the strongest club at tertiary and club level in SA, producing many South African players as well as the coach of the SA Men’s Team and the winners of the Professional Basketball League. Of course, women now also feature.

 

Teams that have entered the 1995 Leagues:

Men’s A and B Leagues:

  1. Vaal Technikon
  2. Vaal Stars
  3. Real Gunners
  4. Snickers
  5. Zamdela
  6. Sasolburg
  7. Wil Jodeci
  8. Transvalia
  9. Panasonics

Women’s League:

  1. Wil Jodeci
  2. Vaal Stars
  3. Zamdela
  4. Sasolburg
  5. Panasonics

VUT’s Basketball Successes

Men Women
2016 – USSA Nationals 2nd place

–     Three players represented the National team at CUCSA games

 

2016 – USSA National Champions

–    Three ladies represented National team CUCSA games (crowned Champions)

–     Women’s Coach won the CUCSA Basketball Games (Gold Medal)

 

2015 – USSA Championships GUBL Champions

 

2015 – USSA National Champions
2014 USSA Champions 2014 USSA National Champions
2013 USSA Champions 2013 USSA National Champions
2012 USSA Champions 2012 USSA National Champions
2011 – USSA Champions 2011 USSA National Champions
2010 – USSA Champions 2010 USSA Nationals: 2nd position
2009 – USSA Nationals: 2nd place 2009 USSA Nationals Champions
2008 – USSA Nationals Champions

–     Three players selected for Senior National Team

 

2008 USSA Nationals: 3rd place
2007 – USSA Nationals Champions

–     Gauteng Basketball League champions

–     Five players selected for World Student games

–    Three players selected for Senior National Team

 

2007 – USSA National Champions
2006 – USSA National Champions 2006 – USSA National Champions
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