Melbourne Boomers – The Legacy

May 10, 2024 | WNBL news

The Boomers have been synonymous with the WNBL and its community since entering the national league in 1984.

Over 40 years, the, Bulleen and later Melbourne, Boomers produced champions of the game, Australian Opals, developed local talent, won two championships and produced six league MVPs.

Michele Timms, Samantha Thornton, Debbie Slimmon, Katrina Hibbert, Hollie Grima, Desiree Glaubitz, Jenna O’Hea and Ezi Magbegor are among just some of the iconic names to have played for the club and inspired a new generation of hoopers coming through the Bulleen pathway and local children to take up the game such was the Boomers role and visibility in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

Eleven coaches took the reins of the Boomers across four decades including inaugural mentor Trevor Cook and Paul Deacon who took the club to its first finals appearance in 1989.

Tammy Good (1993-1995) was the first female coach before long time mentors and Coach of the Year winners in Lori Chizik (1996 to 1999-00) and Cheryl Chambers (2001-02 to 2008-09) forged a new era, then came championship coaches Tom Maher and Guy Molloy with Chris Lucas head coach for the past two seasons.

Under Chambers, the Boomers contested their first WNBL Grand Final in 2008-09 losing to Canberra by three points.

The winds of change swept through the program with Opals Olympic-medal winning coach Maher returning from China to take the helm with Timms as assistant coach and Robyn Maher leading the administration.

The Boomers again succumbed to the Caps in the 2009-10 decider before breaking through for their first title the following year with veteran Sharin Milner top scoring with 27 points in the sweetest of victories.

In 2013, the Bulleen Boomers rebranded to the Melbourne Boomers, adopting purple and gold colours, widening their reach and fan base and moving from the Veneto Club, after previously calling Sheahan’s Road, Bulleen, Keilor and the Entertainment Centre home, to Wantirna’s State Basketball Centre.

Sell out crowds and blockbuster fixtures put the Boomers back on the map.

A decade later the Boomers returned to the scene of their lone title, moving to Melbourne Sports Centres, Parkville and adding a second trophy to their cabinet in 2021-22.

Import point guard Lindsay Allen won the Rachael Sporn Medal for her influence in a Grand Final series epic against Perth Lynx.

The club produced six Suzy Batkovic Medallists, for the WNBL’s Most Valuable Player, including dual-winner Hibbert (2004/05, 2005/06), Grima (2006-07) Liz Cambage (2010-11), Cayla George (2022-23) and Jordin Canada (2023-24) who was the first American-born import to win the award.