HT Heat started in 1999 when a Huntingtower School parent, Monika Emerson and her son, Tennent, registered an Under 16 team, formed from Year 11 students at the school in the Friday night competition of MEBA. Monika organised the registrations and managed the team. Tennent became the captain-coach. The team had lunchtime training sessions at the school and although the Vermont Vultures convincingly defeated Huntingtower by 19 points in their first game, these boys won 9 and lost 7 in their first season.
In that same year, Rhonda Jenkin was keen for her son, Simon, to play in the local league, as her family had just moved to the Waverley area and Simon and his brothers had been playing basketball for Olinda in the Knox Basketball Association for a long time. Rhonda heard of the Huntingtower team playing on Friday nights and liked the idea of Simon playing basketball with a team of his new school friends.
From there the club stared to form. Leeanne Smith, Rhonda Jenkin and then Jenny Jacklin were the driving forces on the committee as the club rapidly expanded. With these three vigilant women, the club grew in numbers and success.
In 2002, Huntingtower School arranged a sports tour to its sister-school, Clairbourn in Los Angeles and it was the basketballers and families from our club who were very active in fund-raising for the trip including a “shoot-out” at The Glen Shopping Centre, Glen Waverley
However, it is from the youngest age groups that a club can truly grow, and in 2002 the first Under 8 team was formed. Bruce Mann’s coaching of Under 8 teams became legendary. Even at their age, Bruce could get the young ones playing tight defence, or what he called the “Shuffle”. His techniques are still used today.
Bruce’s son, Justin, designed the distinctive pale blue and flaming red uniform of Huntingtower Basketball Club, when he was a Year 11 student in 2004, suggesting that the name change to HT Heat in line with the logo.