Jim Kerr, co-founder and president of the Logan Cavaliers has been playing basketball for over 50 years, passing his commitment and passion for the game through three generations of his family! We chat to Jim about his proudest basketball moments and his motivation behind starting the Logan Cavs.
When did you first start playing basketball and what was the defining moment when you knew you’d always be involved with the sport?
In 1964, as a sports mad 13yr old, it was my school teacher at Sarina (NQ) who introduced me to Basketball. At that stage, I was playing Rugby League and Cricket. At the age of 15, I was named Vice Captain of North Queensland U16. I then moved to Brisbane, in 1967, and began playing A Grade with Lang Park, under the tutelage of Bob Young. In 1970, I returned to Rugby League and played with Eastern Suburbs, until injury forced me into retirement. After a period of recoupment, I returned to Basketball, playing with Sunnybank Tigers, where a friendship with the Tigers President, John Dwyer, rekindled my passion for basketball. I was not satisfied to just play the game: I wanted to give more. When my eldest son turned 8, I commenced studying and coaching basketball seriously. I became a committee person of Sunnybank Tigers, then the largest junior club in Queensland participating in the Southern Districts junior competition. One of my tasks was to produce the club newsletter, Tiger Tales, of which I remain particularly proud. During this time, I provided the court commentary for all Southern Districts QBL games alongside Alan Groves, which I enjoyed immensely. I was now a fully-fledged ‘basketball nut’!
How did you get your kids involved with basketball?
I had no problem with my children deciding which sport to play. After a short stint at Rugby League, both my sons, Brendan and Rowan, elected to play basketball and have been playing continuously since the early 80’s. Brendan was a member of the ‘Invincibles’ Southern Districts U14 team of 1991. My daughter, Belinda, also represented Southern Districts in U12 and U14. Rowan was a member of the first U18 rep team at Logan.
What is your most memorable basketball career highlight?
There are many things along my basketball journey that made me smile:
Playing alongside some great Lang Park basketballers, including Olympian Tony Barnett, and having the pleasure of coaching a raw 13yr old kid (named Ben Thompson) who went on to NBL glory;
Forming Cavs Basketball Club in 1998 and setting the bar for others to follow in terms of professionalism, and providing the opportunity for young Australians to play basketball;
In 1999 and 2000, providing free coaching for young mothers who had never played basketball, so they could become part of the exciting new era of basketball in Logan;
Perhaps my proudest achievement was making the East Coast Challenge happen annually for 18 years at Logan City. The event provided the opportunity for mature age basketballers to play in a social atmosphere. It gave old team mates an opportunity to catch up each year, and tell some fibs about long gone glory days, and to play some competitive ball;
Also, it was a lot of fun to be a part of the WNBL, in Logan, as the court announcer.
You were instrumental in founding Logan Basketball 18 years ago, what was your biggest motivation behind this?
I had been living in Tanah Merah, Logan City, since 1977 and travelling to Sunnybank for training and Southern Districts for games for approximately 10 years. By this time, Logan was developing quite rapidly in population, and it just made sense that there should be a major indoor sporting complex in the area incorporating basketball as the major tenant. After a community meeting, I and current LBI employee, Deb Crone, put our hands up to become involved. I founded the Logan Cavaliers Club (Cavs) in 1998 and, to this day, remain President of the Club. Deb Crone is the Vice President. Fixtures began in 1999.
What’s your proudest moment as a basketball Dad?
Playing in the East Coast Challenge (for 30+) with all of my 3 children, and now, being a coach, alongside my son, Brendan, of his 9 year old son Jayden. It makes me very proud to have 3 generations of my family training and sharing our joint passion of Basketball.
What would you recommend to families wanting to get their kids involved with basketball?
Come down to Logan and join the Cavs! Seriously, try and get involved with your kids’ teams through scoring, managing, or coaching after doing a Level One coaching course. But please, don’t jump into coaching without doing some courses. Coaching is not for everyone and can be detrimental to young players if you don’t have the right temperament. As a parent, please be understanding and supportive of a coach’s position, talk to them if you have a dilemma.
We love celebrating and acknowledging people’s commitment and passion for basketball, so if you’d like to feature in our Basketball Families series, please send us an email at [email protected]