A great isolation read written by an old mate of YourLifeChoices
Image ©Andrius Lipsys
Graeme Willingham is an old friend of YourLifeChoices. He's a talented travel writer and author of the book Not Bad Thanks, about a basketball team – the Not Bad Thanks Basketball Club – which has been together for 80 seasons and this year celebrates its 40th anniversary.
Graeme who also happens to be one of the characters in the book, said the club was looking forward to starting its 81st season in the Victorian Business Houses Association.
“We have a tight-knit squad of 13 active players and another 15 not so active, so the Not Bad Thanks story will continue, as soon as COVID-19 is under control,” he said. ”We’ll get to 50 years and 100 seasons, no worries!”
The VBHBA recently nominated the book for Basketball Victoria’s annual Media Award.
Over its 80 seasons in the VBHBA, Not Bad Thanks has won six premierships, ranging from E to A Reserve grades. Current players range in age from 26 to 75.
While cancelling a 60-strong 40th dinner at Lamaro’s Hotel earlier in thr month, the Club acknowledged its actual April Fools’ Day birthday on 1 April.
Some 30 players connected on Zoom to salute the milestone with the NBT Club Red (Elderton shiraz) while wearing club caps and T-shirts and singing the NBT Anthem, which is ‘Ennn Bee Tee’ over and over again to the tune of Silent Night.
About the club and the book which was launched late 2018 by basketball legend Lindsay Gaze: NBA great Magic Johnson, The Harlem Globetrotters, notorious British Great Train Robber, the late Ronnie Biggs, and triple Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva have unlikely roles to play in the curious Not Bad Thanks story, alongside club songs and poetry, season dinners, crazy awards, the club’s own fully-licensed ‘clubrooms’, impromptu late-night excursions, rules and rituals and endless facts and figures.
The book does not trace the club’s season-by-season history; rather, it tells how the club grappled with tragedy, authority, an ‘outing’, generational challenges, equal opportunity, skill shortage, globalisation, an aging workforce, dysfunctional patrons, brushes with fame, media scrutiny … and, premiership droughts. Premierships were won, though, but in weird circumstances.
Lindsay Gaze wrote in the foreword: “This is an essential addition to the library of Australian sports culture because, among other things, I believe it’s the first book to delve into grass-roots basketball. It’s worthy reading for anyone who has an interest in sport, especially the thousands who play for fun, yet compete for their version of glory. I expect readers, like me, will feel I would like to play in this team.”
Among club rules are teammates must greet each other with “Not bad thanks!” and respond with “Y’Self?”, and commit to ’giving it heaps’ on the court, attending The Clubrooms for at least one hour after each Thursday night game, learning the words of The NBT Anthem and embracing the club’s full social program.
Not Bad Thanks is a tale of bonding, friendship and socialisation perfect for reading in isolation and is available via www.notbadthanks.com.