[phpwiki]Perth Wildcats

Team Info

 Founded        1982 as Westate Wildcats
 Stadium        Perth Arena, Perth, Western Australia
 Old Stadiums   Perry Lakes, Challenge Stadium
 Capacity       4,500
 Owner          Jack Bendat
 CEO            Nick Marvin
 Head Coach     Trevor Gleeson
 Championships  1990, 1991, 1995, 2000, 2010, 2014


 2013-14 Perth Roster
 2012-13 Perth Roster
 2011-12 Perth Roster

All Stars

 Andrew Vlahov 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997
 James Harvey 2004
 James Crawford 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1997
 Mike Ellis 1989
 Paul Rogers 2007, 2008
 Peter Crawford 2005
 Ricky Grace 1991, 1997
 Shawn Redhage 2006, 2007, 2008, 2013
 Scott Fisher 1994
 Tony Ronaldson 2004, 2007
 Trevor Torrance 1988

Retired Jerseys

 #6 Mike Ellis
 #7 James Crawford
 #14 Scott Fenton
 #15 Ricky Grace
 #21 Andrew Vlahov
 #30 Scott Fisher

Team Game Records

 Most Points in a game        57 James Crawford, 06/09/87
 3 Pointers made in a game    8  6 Players
 Most Assists in a game       17 3 Players
 Most Blocks in a game        12 David Van Dyke, 09/05/97
 Most Steals in a game        10 Ricky Grace,  27/04/90
 Most Rebounds in a game      26 Dan Clause, 27/04/85

Team All Time Records

 Most Games       484  Ricky Grace
 Most Points      8802 Ricky Grace
 3pt Made         960  Ricky Grace
 Blocked Shots    576  James Crawford
 Steals           734  Ricky Grace
 Assists          3470 Ricky Grace
 Rebounds         3354 James Crawford


 Season By Season
 Season	  Results       Finals
 1982	  10th (10-16)	-
 1983	  12th (6-16)	-
 1984	  16th (3-20)	-
 1985	  8th (13-13)	-
 1986	  12th (8-18)	-
 1987	  4th (19-7)	Grand-Finalists
 1988	  6th (13-11)	Semi-Finalists
 1989	  3rd (16-8)	Semi-Finalists
 1990	  5th (17-9)	CHAMPIONS
 1991	  1st (22-4)	CHAMPIONS
 1992	  6th (12-12)	Quarter-Finalists
 1993	  1st (21-5)	Grand-Finalists
 1994	  6th (16-10)	Quarter-Finalists
 1995	  1st (19-7)	CHAMPIONS
 1996	  3rd (16-10)	Quarter-Finalists
 1997	  4th (17-13)	Semi-Finalists
 1998	  3rd (17-13)	Semi-Finalists
 1998/99  6th (13-13)	Elimination-Finalists
 1999/00  3rd (22-6)	CHAMPIONS
 2000/01  3rd (21-7)	Elimination-Finalists
 2001/02  2nd (17-13)	Elimination-Finalists
 2002/03  2nd (22-8)	Grand-Finalists
 2003/04  7th (15-18)	Quarter-Finalists
 2004/05  7th (15-17)	Quarter-Finalists
 2005/06  7th (16-16)	Semi-Finalists
 2006/07  3rd (23-10)	Quarter-Finalists
 2007/08  4th (18-12)	Semi-Finalists
 2008/09  4th (17-13)	Elimination-Finalists
 2009/10  1st (17-11)	CHAMPIONS
 2010/11  4th (16-12)	Semi-Finalists
 2011/12  2nd (19-9)    Grand-Finalists
 2012/13  2nd (22-6)    Grand-Finalists

The 1980s

Formed in 1982 as the Westate Wildcats, the Wildcats became the first, and so far only, Western Australian club to compete in the NBL. The club was initially captained by Mike Ellis and comprised members of the Western Australian state team and several import players. In these early years the Wildcats played at Perry Lakes Stadium and struggled to make an impact on the league. In 1984 the Wildcats changed their name to the Perth Wildcats and in 1987 moved from Perry Lakes to the 5,000 seat Superdrome (now known as Challenge Stadium). After signing a number of star players (including Cal Bruton, Tiny Pinder and James Crawford), the Wildcats not only made their first playoff appearance in 1987, but attained a Grand Final berth. Unfortunately for the Wildcats they lost this Grand Final series to the Brisbane Bullets. Despite this loss the 1987 season marked the beginning of 24 straight years of playoff appearances that still runs to this day.


The following years were not as successful on or off the court for the Wildcats. Significantly, the club was forced to deal with the shocking death of player Scott Fenton and his fiancée in a car accident during the 1989 season. In his memory, Scott Fenton’s jersey (number 14) became the first to be retired by the club.

The 1990s

A new decade saw the Wildcats move once again, now to the 8,200 seat Perth Entertainment Centre. The 1990 season also began with turmoil as coach Alan Black was controversially fired after only two games. Despite this shaky start to the season the Wildcats charged into the Grand Final and achieved their first NBL championship by defeating the Brisbane Bullets in Brisbane. The Wildcats backed up this effort in 1991 by becoming the third team in NBL history to win back-to-back championships, defeating the Eastside Spectres in front of a home crowd.

The Wildcats were destined for more turmoil in 1992: they were unable to secure a hat-trick of championships, they lost player Kendall (Tiny) Pinder in very controversial circumstances, and captain Mike Ellis retired at the end of the season. Andrew Vlahov became captain of the club in 1993 and the Wildcats competed in another Grand Final campaign. This time however the Wildcats were defeated in a tough battle with the Melbourne Tigers, who claimed their first NBL championship. The Wildcats lost by two points. The television broadcast of the game incorrectly displayed the final score as a one-point loss. The 1994 season was lacklustre, with sixteen wins and ten losses in the regular season and elimination 2-0 in the quarter-finals by the South East Melbourne? Magic. By contrast 1995 saw the Wildcats sitting on top of the table and eventually blitzing the North Melbourne Giants in game three of the series. The Wildcats' third championship also allowed the club to travel to the McDonald's Championship in London to play against the best clubs in the world. The Wildcats lost against the Houston Rockets from the NBA 116 - 72 in their first game of the tournament, but defeated Real Madrid 93 - 86 in their second game.

The 1997 season became the testimonial season for James Crawford who was expected to retire at the end of that season. The Wildcats hosted an exhibition match against James Crawford’s all-star team, which featured many NBL stars both current and retired. Although 1997 had been touted as Crawford’s retirement year, he continued to play until injury forced him out during the 1998/99 season.

The 2000s

Andrew Vlahov and Luc Longley purchased the Wildcats from businessman Kerry Stokes for the 1999/2000 season. The season itself was very successful for the Wildcats as they claimed their fourth championship against the Victoria Titans, becoming the first team in NBL history to do so. To top off the stellar season, centre Paul Rogers became the first Wildcat to win the NBL MVP award.

The end of the 2001/02 season saw the Wildcats leave the Perth Entertainment Centre for a return to their old home the Superdrome (now Challenge Stadium). Till then, Perth had avoided the league's fall in attendance, thanks to the team's performances and the popular central CBD location of the arena, but the Perth Entertainment Centre was no longer viable for its owner Kerry Stokes as basketball was not the primary tenant, and he was forced to close the venue and relocate the team back to their former and unpopular suburban-based arena. Ricky Grace became captain of the club in 2002/03 when Andrew Vlahov retired from the league. The season saw the Wildcats head to their seventh Grand Final, where unfortunately for the Wildcats they were defeated by the Sydney Kings in their first championship. More controversy followed as coach Alan Black was fired for the second time by the club.

Mike Ellis became coach for the following season, but his tenure was short, being replaced the following season by Scott Fisher. The 2004/05 season saw the end of an era as captain Ricky Grace played his last game of his career with the club. Grace was the only remaining member of all the Wildcats' championships and had been an integral part of the club for 15 years. In order to celebrate his career with the Wildcats a legends match was held featuring many retired Wildcats stars (including Bruton, Crawford, Ellis, Vlahov and Fisher), current and retired NBL stars (including Leroy Loggins, Andrew Gaze, Mark Davis and Phil Smyth).

With Grace retired, veteran player Tony Ronaldson became captain of the Wildcats in 2005/06, but was relieved of his captaincy after only one season. Future Wildcats captain and multiple club MVP award winner Shawn Redhage also first suited up for the Wildcats in 2005.

The Wildcats were instrumental in the NBL's push towards promoting the league in the lucrative Asian market during this period. Not only have Wildcats games been telecast to millions of potential viewers in Southeast Asia, the Wildcats have hosted several regular season games in Singapore in an event known as the "Singapore Spectacular?.". The Singapore experiment culminated in the entry of the first Asian team into the NBL - the Singapore Slingers - in the 2006/2007 season. The "Singapore Spectacular" has not been held since. In February 2006, West Australian Jack Bendat became the Chairman and majority shareholder of the club. Although no longer the majority shareholder, Andrew Vlahov remained in control of the club as the Managing Director.

In August 2006, Paul Rogers became the fifth player to captain the Wildcats. Rogers replaced Tony Ronaldson as captain for 2006/07, despite Ronaldson continuing to play for the club. The Wildcats celebrated their 25th anniversary during the 2006/07 NBL season and recorded their highest number of wins in a single season (23 wins), although historically they have recorded better win-loss ratios. The 2007 season came to an end when the Wildcats were defeated by the Cairns Taipans 82-78 in the quarter finals.

The Wildcats continued to appear in the playoffs throughout the late 2000s, but failed to progress beyond the semi final round. Following the 2007/08 season, Head coach Scott Fisher departed the Wildcats in March 2008 to return to the United States for personal reasons. He was eventually replaced by his assistant Connor Henry, whose tenure at the Wildcats lasted only one season. Prior to the 2009/10 season, Henry was replaced by former Sydney Spirit head coach Rob Beveridge?. The new head coach was instrumental in recruiting a wave of new talent for the Wildcats, including Australian Boomer Damian Martin and former Chicago Bulls centre Luke Schenscher. Former Cairns Taipans, and 1995 Wildcats championship squad member, Martin Cattalini also signed for the Wildcats in what would be his final NBL season. Redhage became the next Wildcats captain, taking over from the injury plagued Paul Rogers.

Return To Championship

The Wildcats finished the 2009/10 regular season at first place on the ladder. During the finals, the Wildcats managed a clean-sweep in two matches against the Gold Coast Blaze, lead by former Wildcat James Harvey, to progress to the grand final series against the Wollongong Hawks. The series went to three matches were the Wildcats stormed home in Game 3 on the back of the Grand Final MVP performance by Kevin Lisch.

The 2010s

Retirements to Cattalini and Rogers followed the championship win, while Brad Robbins was elevated to co-captain with Redhage. The Wildcats title defence in 2010/11 suffered numerous setbacks as the season progressed including prolonged injuries to key players Matthew Knight and Jesse Wagstaff, and a season ending injury to co-captain Shawn Redhage (who had not missed a match since joining the Wildcats). American Imports Andre Brown and Ater Majok were signed to help the Wildcats with their loss of their big men.

Despite injury setbacks throughout the year, the Wildcats finished the 2010/11 regular season with a 16-12 win/loss record, finishing fourth. Their active playoff streak therefore stretched to 25 consecutive years. Drawn to play minor premiers New Zealand Breakers in the first round of the playoffs, the Wildcats scored an upset victory in Game 1 in Auckland, winning 101-78. Game two in Perth was a tight affair that saw the Breakers level the series 1-1 with a 93-89 win before the Wildcats were knocked out of the championship race with a 83-99 loss in Game 3.[1]

Back To Back Grand Fianls

The Wildcats raced out of the gates in 2011-12 and were rated as a top 2 team the whole season, even a early season injury to Damian Martin could not slow them down. The Wildcats played the year with one import, Kevin Lisch. Kevin took out the league MVP & Perth finished with the 2nd best record in the league. After knocking out the Gold Coast Blaze in the semi finals, the Wildcats faced defending champions the NZ Breakers. After losing game 1 on the road, the Wildcats won game 2 after Shawn Redhage blocked C.J Bruton at the buzzer. Perth would go on the lose the series 2 - 1. At the seasons end they would also lose Luke Nevill due to his points rating.

The start of the 2012-13 was a slow one for the Wildcats as they started the season on the road for the first two months due to their new stadium being built. Matthew Knight went down with an injury early in the season allowing the signing of Michael Dunigan, who played 4 games for the Wildcats. After a slow start the Wildcats roared through the rest of the regular season, finishing 2nd behind the NZ Breakers. Brad Robbins retired mid-season and Rhys Carter was signed as a replacement for Robbins. In the semi-finals against the Wollongong Hawks they lost Damian Martin to a season ending Achilles injury and Brad Robbins was activated for the grand final series against the NZ Breakers but the injury to Martin was too much and the Wildcats lost to the Breakers for the 3rd straight season going down 2-0.

New Era - Return to the top

In April 2013 it was announced that the Wildcats would look to replace head coach Rob Beveridge, who was linked to sign with other NBL clubs including the Adelaide 36ers. Matthew Knight re-signed with the Wildcats for 3 years [2] on May 5th 2013, this was followed shortly by Shawn Redhage [3] & Greg Hire [4] re-signing, also for 3 years. Brad Robbins said he would not return, Kevin Lisch left the NBL to play overseas and he was replaced by James Ennis.

The Wildcats hit the ground running in 2013-14. Import James Ennis was a red hot favorite to win MVP all season long (he lost to Hawks import Rotnei Clarke and the surprise play of fellow import Jermaine Beal meant that the Wildcats were almost unbeatable all season long. Damian Martin won his 4th straight defensive player of the year award, Tom Jervis won the rookie of the year award and James Ennis was selected to the All-NBL First Team. Perth finished the season on top of the NBL ladder and defeated the Wollongong Hawks 2-0 in the semi-finals, they faced off against their long time rivals the Adelaide 36ers in the grand final series, defeating the 6ers 2 games to 1. Jermaine Beal was named the NBL Finals MVP.

Perth have won the most NBL championships amongst any NBL team past or present with 6 banners.



Old Perth Wildcats Articles

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