Almanac Basketball: Community `Ball – A Way of Life and Opportunity of a Life-time


Almanackers who know me are probably aware of my involvement as President of the Yarra Wild Beasts. I note The Great Escape was on telly the other afternoon – so like James Garner, I’m an all-round scrounger for anything to benefit the kids of the Yarra Wild Beasts


Unlike James I don’t quite have the stature nor NFL background, though I did play left right out for a number of years.


This is a short film This is Yarra about a few of our kids now 19-20 years old but gives a small insight into our Fitzroy community basketball program.


Riyadh lost his mum during the filming of the doco and I won’t spoil the ending for those who choose to watch.


These kids wouldn’t worry about hubs nor would their guardians or siblings deter them if we were allowed to play a game – and these kids don’t get paid – enough soapboxing from me.


When we played in the finals at Werribee stadium where the capacity was about 3500 but about 5000 found their way in sitting in aisles on the floor right up to the edge of the court – reminiscent Pies v Blues 1970 Grand Final.


View the film HERE



Now two years down the line we’ve got Deng Dut studying in junior college, Athiaan Manyiel soon to join him both on full scholarships – my one bloke Lachie in Uni at St Louis and a couple of others being offered scholarships next year – depending of course on Covid and border opening.


The last two years have seen us run a two-week flying visit to the States for the Tarkanian Classic in Vegas around Christmas with Manny Hendrix Jnr leading the way and assisting us to achieve these scholarship offers.


In 2019 we have one young fella with the prospect of a full scholarship to Princeton providing he can meet a few educational requirements


So hope you get a bit of a laugh, some understanding of how community sport faces the financial plight every day to survive – forget Covid, understand a little of the racial challenges and you may even shed a tear.


To everyone following the Almanac may you stay well, look forward to a draught frothy and pray that your chosen religion may soon return to the screens and arenas near and far.



Regards, Steve Earl

[email protected]


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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A Fitzroy resident keen on local content sports and the offbeat. Community first, after the good family of course.


  1. Colin Ritchie says

    Well done Steve, great work and a rewarding result.

  2. Excellent work Steve. I look forward to watching the film.

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