A history of success
Horsham Hornets have had a proud and successful history in their 19 years in the Big V basketball league.
The Hornets were created in 1990 to play in a Country Victorian League which was later merged into the Big V and the Hornets quickly became a prominent side in the competition.
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Former coach Owen Hughan said the Hornets had success early.
"We won the championship in 1991," Hughan said.
"We had a very strong team and the competition itself was very strong and the teams all had US imports."
The Hornets were led by explosive US point guard Damon Lowry who eventually played in the National Basketball League.
"Lowry once scored 70-plus points in a game, he was a great player," Hughan said.
The Hornets had some difficult times in the late 1990s but Hughan said the hard times had a big payoff.
"We played our kids all through that time," he said.
We were criticised for it but it came through for us in a big way. The kids we were playing were Aaron Bruce, Shane McDonald and Liam Norton.Owen Hughan
"All of them ended up playing in the NBL and we even had Aaron play for Australia."
Before players like Bruce and McDonald left Horsham, the club had massive success.
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"We won four championships between 2000 and 2004," Hughan said.
"We have always tried to have a mix of young kids and more experienced players. That has been the key to our success.
"The Hornets have created a pathway for our junior players to come through on.
"We have only missed the playoffs four or five times in 19 years."
Hughan said it had been a big commitment to keep a side running for that time.
"We used to never have kids make it into training programs or Victoria Country state teams," Hughan said.
By my count we have had 180 players into that system since the Hornets started.Owen Hughan
"The Hornets have been very important for the development of our kids. Overall they have been very important."
The Hornets have also clocked up a lot of kilometres between Horsham and Melbourne.
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"It has taken a lot of money and a lot of time," Hughan said.
"To my knowledge we are the only Horsham team which had to travel to Melbourne on a week-to-week basis to compete in a metro competition.
"It has taken a lot of time and lot of effort. But it has been worth it."
Last season the Hornets added another championship banner to their collection by winning the division three championship.
The team was led by Norton and captain Tim Pickert who will again lead the Hornets into this season's grand final series.
This season the Hornets have also had another junior make his was to the Australian Institute of Sport. Mitch Creek was offered a scholarship to the prestigious program in July.
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The program has also begun to rebuild after Hughan with Steve Bruce taking over the coaching role.
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