The South Australian Metropolitan Basketball Association was founded in 1936.All games were played at Duncan Buildings, Franklin Street, Adelaide with 16 teams competing.
After World War II, basketball resumed at the O.B.I. in the city, and suburban drill halls, with 27 teams.
In 1946 the first Australian Championship was held in Sydney. The Australian Men's Championship was held 36 times, the last series in 1984.South Australia won 14 titles and finished second another 13 times. The Men's Championship was discontinued in the 1980's because of the advent of the National Basketball League.
The Australian Women's Championship first was held in 1955 in Melbourne and has been held 29 times until it too was discontinued in 1984. South Australia won the title 14 times and finished second another 11 times.
In 1951 the District Association was formed and in 1953 the Forestville Stadium, with one court, was built, then the first of its kind in Australia. By 1954, there were 57 teams competing in all grades in the District Association.
In 1956 a second court was built at Forestville and in 1958 a third. The Association continued to grow at a rapid rate and in 1961, Bowden Stadium was built with two courts. In 1963, a third court was built at Bowden.
By 1964, 350 teams were competing in all grades of the Association and further expansion was needed to house all the teams wanting to play. So, in 1965 the first court was built at Marion with a second added in 1966.
As the Association grew, a landmark in Australian and South Australian basketball came about in 1969 when the Apollo Entertainment Centre was built. It had one court and the capacity to seat 3,000 people and became the home for basketball in South Australia providing offices for the administration of the B.A.S.A.
It was a beginning for many more buildings to come until the major boom for basketball occurred in the 1980's with the formation of the National Basketball League in 1979.
Meanwhile, the Basketball Association of South Australia continued to grow and expand. In 1971, two courts were built at Hillcrest. In 1975, two more courts were built at Colonel Light Gardens and in 1976, two were built at Morphett Vale. A third court was added in 1985 and a fourth five years later.
In 1980, Barry Richardson was installed as General Manager of the Association and he consolidated the Associationís assets and continued its growth.
1985 marked the formation of the Adelaide West End 36ers as the one team representing South Australia in the National Basketball League. This sparked a tremendous upsurge in the involvement and interest of both the public and media in the State.
In 1986, the Association expanded even further with the addition of the Woodlands Sporting Complex at Athol Park, housing four basketball courts and both indoor and outdoor tennis courts. The year also was memorable for the Adelaide West End 36ers winning the National Basketball League championship for the first time.
Further stadium occupancies at Elizabeth and Port Adelaide offset the eventual closing of the Bowden Stadium. But the continued sell-out success of the Adelaide West End 36ers led the Association to initiate its most calculated gamble, the building of the 8,000-strong Clipsal Powerhouse at Beverley. The State Basketball League and the Netball Association had begun consistently to attract sell-out crowds to their grand finals at the Apollo, setting the scene for a feasibility study into the development of a multi-sports complex.
The Clipsal Powerhouse was opened on Thursday, December 19, 1991 at a cost of $16 million with the capacity to revert to a three-court international-standard facility. It is the finest basketball complex in Australia.
In 1994, South Australia won its first National League championship in the venue when the Adelaide QUIT Lightning took the Womenís National Basketball League crown, an outstanding feat they repeated 12 months later in front of 7,100 fans - a record attendance for a womenís basketball game in Australia. In 1996, the team won the championship for the third successive year when it defeated Sydney at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, and for the fourth year in five when it again defeated Sydney in Sydney in 1998.