The original basketball competition began in 1968 on two outdoor bitumen courts that existed on the Kostera Oval reserve behind the cricket clubrooms.
The Kalamunda and Districts Basketball Association (KDBA) was then incorporated on October 1st, 1971.
For several years, games were played in the evenings by adults during the summer months. In 1975, four bitumen outdoor courts were constructed at Ray Owen Reserve along with some basic changerooms. KDBA funded the changerooms on a self-supporting loan of $30,000. (These original changerooms are now part of the football clubrooms.)
A short time later Netball started at Ray Owen and eight more outdoor courts were constructed (as exists today).
A gate fee was collected as players and spectators passed through a large turnstile. The carpark was gravel and the dust from exuberant drivers frequently covered the courts. The courts were sloped and you tossed a coin for direction of play. It’s hard going uphill in the second half. The tuckshop was conducted from a caravan.
Again, this was only a summer competition. Many players from throughout the Perth metropolitan area played here as at that time it was only one of several large competitions.
Netball used the courts during the winter months. Kalamunda and Districts Netball Association (KDNA) was incorporated on September 6th, 1984.
In 1985, after several years of intense negotiation, the Ray Owen Sports Centre was constructed over the first four courts. These courts were still coved to allow water runoff and the concrete light pylon blocks were still visible in the bitumen.
The original self-supporting loan on the building of $114,000 was shared equally between KDBA and KDNA. The building was also funded by the Shire of Kalamunda and The Department of Youth, Sport & Recreation.
The Ray Owen Management Committee was formed to manage the affairs of the Stadium and was one of the first Local Government Management Committees to ever exist. It still manages the building today.
In 1991, KDBA reaffiliated with Basketball Western Australia (BWA) after a number of years outside the mainstream system.
As the competition grew, there were plans formed to replace the bitumen courts with sprung boards. In another jointly funded project, the first two courts were replaced in 1993 ($139,550) and the second two in 1997 ($146,000). The Associations funded their contributions from existing funds and did not borrow for these improvements.
By this time basketball was being played three nights a week until 11pm and inter-district sides all trained in any venue available except Ray Owen. Through 1994 to 1996 many meetings were held with the Shire and Netball regarding a possible extension to the Stadium, but not much progress was made.
Then in September 1996 an application was made to the Shire and Ministry of Sport & Recreation for the construction of two additional courts at the northern end of the stadium. Several years of intense lobbying and hard work resulted in their construction in 1998 at a cost of over $800,000. A loan was raised for $250,000 by KDBA and the rest funded by the Shire and DSR. KDNA agreed to allow the construction and to contribute to the ongoing maintenance of all the courts but did not contribute to the construction.
These courts were officially opened on July 2nd, 1998.
10pm-11pm timeslots were now a thing of the past. WABL teams could now train in the stadium and a mixed basketball competition was started on a Friday night.
In 2005 the original loan on the building was completed by KDNA and KDBA. The final stage of the Centre became the focus and in March 2005 application was made to the Shire for funds to design a proper kiosk area and additional storage for possible wheelout seating. During the planning stage the need to take pedestrians off the baseline area was also addressed. An application was made for funding from DSR in September 2005 and we were successful in obtaining a grant for $179,595 in March 2006.
These additions are being funded jointly by KDNA, KDBA , Shire of Kalamunda and DSR. The projected cost of the improvements $663,000. As a result of the Federal Government election of 2007, the Associations secured a Federal Govt grant of $180,000 to cover the community contribution to the project. The project commenced in July 2007 and is due for completion in 2008.
KDBA secured a Men's and Women's State Basketball League license for 2008 with the teams named Eastern Suns. Inaugural coaches are Joe Mackay – Men’s and Craig Mansfield and Rob Butt as Women’s. The men’s team had two imported players and one NBL player (from the Sydney Kings) and the women’s team hadtwo WNBL (Perth Lynx) players. Both teams were considered highly competitive in the competition.
In July, 2008 the U/16 Men’s and Women’s National Championships will be hosted by KDBA with 110 games fully timed games occurring over 8 days with teams from all over Australia and also from New Zealand. Since then, KDBA has hosted the U14 Club Championships in 2012 and U20 & Ivor Burge Australian Junior Championships in 2016!