Love for the game
Love for the game
Love for the game spread in 1968, when Father Terry O’Neil suggested to a tight-knit Senior ‘A-team’ that they form a St. Pat’s Old Boys’ Basketball Club. The newly formed club proved healthy competition to the established Marist Club, which became a healthy rivalry and an exciting competition for fans. Wellingtonian love grew for the team, and the fans are now a growing extension of their beloved team.
Back in 1979, there were plans to form a National Basketball League. The established Marist Club and the Old Boys’ Club began to look for a Physical Education teacher to coach both teams. Well-known American Fred Sawaya was appointed, becoming the first imported basketball coach.
By the time the National League started in 1981, the team was ready for action. The club was strengthened by amalgamation of four St. Pat’s teams and 12 Southern Basketball Club teams. The powerful new club was officially named “the Saints”.
The following year, the Saints attracted its first sponsor, ‘Nite Site,’ and were able to import their first American basketballer, Kenny McFadden. The year of 1983 saw the fan base grow to new heights, and the team could no longer fit games in the school gym. The Saints moved to the Madgwick Stadium. The Saints grew closer and closer to victory. They took the League title in 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1988.
The Saints have secured top of 9 regular seasons and been to 19 Grand Finals, winning eleven Championships Titles in 84, 85, 87, 88, 03, 10, 11, 14, 16, 17 and 2019. 2017 was an NBL and club record setting undefeated season's of 20 wins from 20 games, repeating this in the 2019 season for a second time. In the last decade alone, Wellington Saints have been to the last 10 straight playoffs, 9 Finals, and 6 Titles and are from the last 80 games are 71 to 9.