37 Facts About Perth Wildcats


Perth Wildcats are an Australian professional basketball team based in Perth, Western Australia.

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The Wildcats compete in the National Basketball League and play their home games at RAC Arena, known colloquially as "The Jungle".

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The Westate Perth Wildcats were established and played out of the 800-seat Perry Lakes Basketball Stadium.

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The Perth Wildcats have gone on to become the highest-drawing and most successful team in the league, having won NBL championships in 1990,1991,1995,2000,2010,2014,2016,2017,2019 and 2020, placing the team four ahead of Melbourne United, who has six championships.

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Between 1987 and 2021, the Perth Wildcats made the post-season 35 straight years, an accomplishment matched by no other professional sports team in Australia.

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The public support for the Perth Wildcats has been deemed remarkable, particularly the way fans have bought into the brand to create the "Red Army".

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Under Marvin, the philosophy was: the more engaged the Perth Wildcats were with the West Australian community, the more fans they accumulated.

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In January 2017, the Perth Wildcats became the first NBL franchise to break the 10,000-member barrier.

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Between 2012 and 2019, the team was forced on extended road trips for much of December due to Perth Wildcats's annual hosting of the Hopman Cup at Perth Wildcats Arena in early January.

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Also in 1987, still captained by Mike Ellis, the Perth Wildcats introduced players to the roster that would become household names such as Kendal Pinder, James Crawford, Cal Bruton, Alan Black, Eric Watterson and Trevor Torrance.

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Perth Wildcats was replaced by Murray Arnold, a former assistant coach with the Chicago Bulls.

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In pursuit of back-to-back championships, the Perth Wildcats strengthened their roster considerably in the off-season with the addition of future WA basketball legend Andrew Vlahov and Peter Hansen, an American who arrived via Venezuela, Spain and the Perry Lakes Hawks.

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The Perth Wildcats easily accounted for long-term rivals the Adelaide 36ers in the Semi-finals to then find themselves against the highly-rated Eastside Spectres in the Grand Final.

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The Perth Wildcats had a unique opportunity to win back-to-back titles, a feat only achieved by two other teams to that point in the history of the NBL.

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Everything looked on track when the Perth Wildcats were able to defeat the Spectres in Game 1 in Melbourne by 26 points.

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Club legend and captain Mike Ellis retired after 12 seasons, Dr Adrian Hurley was appointed as the new head coach replacing Murray Arnold, and finally the Perth Wildcats enticed two-time league MVP Scott Fisher to the team.

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Perth Wildcats were highly successful in 1995, as coach Hurley guided the team to what was referred to as the 'Triple Crown'—winning the pre-season competition, finishing minor premiers and then winning the NBL Championship.

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The Perth Entertainment Centre was a popular venue for the Wildcats thanks to its central CBD location.

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Over his first four seasons at the Perth Wildcats, Redhage averaged at least 19 points and eight rebounds every year while earning a place in the All-NBL Team in four straight seasons.

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Perth Wildcats was a four-time Gordon Ellis Medalist during this time for being the Wildcats Club MVP and was donned the nickname of 'The Scoring Machine' due to his scoring prowess as a force on the interior.

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The Perth Wildcats partnered with the WA Government to promote its 'Alcohol: Think again' initiative.

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Perth Wildcats had its heart and soul torn out in January 2011 when, for the first time in his career, co-captain Shawn Redhage was injured.

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However, the Perth Wildcats were dealt a major blow when Damian Martin was ruled out of the grand final series with an Achilles injury.

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Perth Wildcats opened the season with a 25-point effort against the Adelaide 36ers—the most points scored by a Wildcat on NBL debut at the time.

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Alongside the core of Martin, Redhage, Wagstaff, Knight, Hire, Beal and Jervis, the Perth Wildcats were successful in reaching the Grand Final, where they defeated the New Zealand Breakers in three games led by captain and Grand Final MVP Damian Martin.

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The Perth Wildcats were under siege when they slumped to the bottom of the ladder at Christmas.

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Amid the turmoil and against the odds, the Perth Wildcats beat the Hawks, signed Bryce Cotton and their season changed.

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Behind the import duo of Casey Prather and Bryce Cotton, the Perth Wildcats won eight of their remaining twelve regular season games, including two must-win encounters in the final week to squeeze into the finals.

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At that time, the Perth Wildcats were sitting on a shaky record of 12 wins and 12 losses and were sitting outside of the top-four.

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The run of form came at the perfect time, as the Perth Wildcats surged towards the 2017 title, with Redhage's final game seeing him become a four-time championship player.

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Redhage finished his illustrious NBL career with 393 games to his name—380 with the Perth Wildcats —while finishing with 5,819 points and 2,153 rebounds.

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The only time the Perth Wildcats have lost by a larger margin in their 32-year finals streak was in 1989 when they lost to North Melbourne by 55 points.

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Perth Wildcats was temporarily replaced in the squad by development player Nic Pozoglou.

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COVID forced home games three and four to be postponed, which was followed by the Perth Wildcats relocating out of Western Australia until the completion of the NBL Cup.

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The series saw the Perth Wildcats hampered by injuries to Luke Travers, Clint Steindl and Mitch Norton.

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Law's 37 points set the highest score ever by a player in their Perth Wildcats debut, surpassing James Crawford's previous record of 33 points in 1987.

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Perth Wildcats' run of 35 straight NBL finals appearances between 1987 and 2021 is unmatched in major Australian professional sports.

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