Almanac Basketball: Patty Mills and the Boomers, ‘Not Bad Thanks’

We were thrilled by the bronze medal winning basketball exploits of Patty Mills and the Boomers at the Tokyo Olympics. Their efforts and skill were admired and reflected the dedication and training involved to achieve at that level.


At the other end of their story, there is another tale, a true tale of a continuing 80-season multi-generational and extraordinary grass-roots’ men’s basketball club in Melbourne, the Not Bad Thanks club, playing B Grade in the Business Houses competition.



And, one of their players, Graeme Willingham, wrote an absorbing account of the trials and tribulations of this incredible team.


The book details their climb from a battling ragbag group of larrikins to a premiership winning team  providing an intimate, first hand account of The Not Bad Thanks including:


  • An award-winning* illustration of men’s mateship, camaraderie, commitment and family connection (men’s health)


  • Family – 9 father-son combinations, 5 sets of brothers, 3 uncle-nephew pairs and 5 sets of cousins played for this club


  • Current player group ranges in age of 26-76 so there are highly-valued cross-generation conversations after the game (2 in their 70s who have both played 1000-plus games, still get ‘a few’ minutes on the court)


  • The first book of its kind written about grass-roots’ basketball in Australia, according to legend Lindsay Gaze who wrote the foreword


  • Lasted so long because players must commit to staying together after each game (at a pub they call the NBT Clubrooms) and embracing the club’s ratbag and larrikin antics — mad-cap rituals, facts and figures, newsletters, awards (for the player who most ‘gives it heaps’, for most points, games played and even The Bloody Gloves Bowl for most fouls), songs and poetry, pompous seasonal dinners with send-up speeches and occasional ‘Bite Nite’ strategy dinners


  • Quintessentially Australian in language (title is a give-away)


  • It’s funny (and sad in places)


  • Not a plotted season-by-season history of The Not Bad Thanks Basketball Club but an essay on commitment, conflict, combat and generational challenges (won just 6 premierships in 80 seasons)



*April last year, the book won Basketball Victoria’s Media Award for its coverage of the game at the community level.


Detailed media release on the book, Lindsay Gaze foreword and author background available on request to [email protected] or 0414 499 887. See The book is published by Wilkinson Publishing. RRP $29.99.



The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in the coming weeks. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order right now HERE


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