The gay sports began in Amsterdam at exactly 20 years.
In the pink weekend gay parade of 1982 in Amersfoort (even today the tradition is kept that the pride parades are done in different cities every year so that tolerance is kept at national level) serveral gay men where beaten by straight guys.
After this incident with the Gay Association of Amsterdam, a new self-defense karate course for gay men and women was started. In this way the Tijgertje (small tiger) gay sports club of Amsterdam was created.
Today the Tijgertje has 12 different sports from Badminton to Karate. In this club more than 300 homossexuals practice sports. Of course that nowadays there are other gay-oriented sports clubs in Amsterdam (and in other holand cities) with futebol, voleibol, etc.
And it was in the Tijgertje that the gay basketball started in Amsterdam. During a course of physique condition several sports where included: voley, basket, soccer... In the meanwhile a new group was created only for basket at about 8 years ago. The training started with the physique trainer Ygal (from Israel) as well with other participants that knew a litle bit about the sport.
Gay Basket in Portuguese
I started my carrer in basket at the Desportivo da Beira in Mozambique at the age of 12, and then moved to clubs like Gaia, Francisco da Holanda... I've played against portuguese clubs like Sporting, Benfica, etc. When I found that this group existed I started training and was invited to be the new coach.
Eurogames 1998 and Gay Games 2000
At the time the new gay basket teams started in Europe. In the Eurogames 1998 of Berlim we where in 1st place. We knew that the Gay Games of 2000 would be in Amsterdam so the team grew up with 2 more experienced gay players (Erwin and Eric). For the Gay Games the team was enhanced with an ex-member of the national selection of Holand (Gijs) with 33 years and 2.08m that was in the process of comming out and his best friend came along (is friend is straight). An american (John) living in Amsterdam was also included in the team. At that time I did not play in the games since I was the coach for 3 years and had lots of changes in the team for the lidership. Anyway the first step was taken and our team got the 4th place, after 3 north-american teams.
Getting ready for Gay Games 2002
Then we started thinking about the Sydney Games. We found 2 gay players (Onno and Lex) in the University Club of Amsterdam. Since it didn't make any sense to have top-level players training with rookies of the Tijgertje (the only gay sports club with basketball in Holland) we started our own team with 7 gay men and 3 straigh men inside the University Club that had teams in every divisions. We where integrated in the 2nd regional division and got the 1st place, so now we are in the 1st regional division (nope... not yet in the national division).
So we had a team for Sydney: 6 gay and a hetero (the Gijs friend). Gijs and his friend work at Amsterdam's Nike shop where sport guys are welcome (and the shop gets free demonstrations from top players every day ;-)) They got us all the equipment for the team, with the advertising as payment.
For the trip we contacted a gay leather shop (Mr.B). They had shown their interest previously when we where in the Tijgertje and now with more promotion in magazines and newspapers (we gave and entreview to a Gay Newspaper of Amsterdam, we have our own website www.mrb-basketball.com...) they agreed to pay 1/3 of the trip costs. The other 2/3 where payed by us from our personal economies.
So here we where ready for the Gay Games 2002 of Sydney.
Basketball in the Gay Games Sydney 2002
There where 20 teams in the Gay Games of Sydney:
11 from the U.S.A.: S.Diego, Boston (Above the Pacific), L.A.Heat, N.Y., L.A. Rebels, S.Diego Hoops, S.F. Castro, S.F. Eagles, S.F. Rock Dogs, Sharks Minesota, United American Ballers (N.Y., Atlanta...).
3 from Australia (Sydney)
2 from France (Paris)
1 from Canada
1 from the United Kingdom (London)
1 from Germany
1 from Holland (Mr.B.)
The teams where divided in 2 groups of 10 teams each. The 4 best teams of each group would be in the finals.
We eliminated: S.F. Castro (USA), S.F.Eagles (USA), East Sydney, Paris 1, San Diego Hoops, Boston and Sydney Red. We lost by 1 point with Boston (Above The Pacific) and by several points to S.F.Rock Dogs (winner of the Amsterdam Gay Games).
We where the only european team in the finals with 7 other north-american teams. We where eliminated by the L.A. Heat by 5 points. The L.A. Heat went on to the final and won the 1st place! We could say our team was in the 5th place but since in the games only the medals count this is not an official classification.
We had 2 games per day and we also did judging work. During the day we played and rested. At night we had dinner together and then went to sleep, since the games started early in the morning.
Only after the games we got some time for fun in Australia. I only got to Blue Montains, an australian animals zoo and an aborigene center. I trou a boomerang, played the didlido and saw Sydney. Then got back to Holland. Some other colegues from my team still had time for a tour to Autralia.
The gay basket teams are getting better by the day. Even in Europe the sport as grown a lot (Paris, London, Frankfurt and Budapest). But there is still a lot to do. A lot of teams, like ours, don't have a dedicated coach. And we are not that young (the youngest guy in our team in 28!).
I feel sorry that they are no more latin teams apart from Paris. Spain and Italy where always great in Basketball. We must go on with the process of gay emancipation in those countries (and in the other ones too), and I'm waiting for the portuguese participation (there was no official participation from Portugal in the Sydney Gay Games).
In this area a special note to the first international gay tournment of the Iberian Peninsula from 20 to 22 June 2003 organized by the Club Deportivo Halegatos of Madrid. This includes basketball and other sports. More information at: www.sungames.org. The portuguese gays should create a gay team for basket, and other sports, and make a point in this gay historic moment. We are open to the possibility of having a mixed team from Portugal and Holland.
We are also available to have a tour in Portugal with our team, if we are invited.
Teams and Clubs
>Mr.B Basketball official web site of the Mr.B basketball team [with sections in dutch, english and portuguese]
>Amsterdam Tigertje GLBT club of Amsterdam with several sports [dutch]
>Entre2Basket Paris GLBT basketball team of Paris [french]
>London Cruisers GLBT basketball team of London [english]
>Berlin Vorspiel GLBT club of Berlim with several sports [german]
>Korbschlampen Münchnen GLBT basketball team of Munich [german]
>Halegatos Madrid GLBT basketball team of Madrid [spanish]
>S.F Rock Dogs GLBT basketball team of San Francisco [english]
>The International Gay Mens Basketball Website the name says everything [english]
>International Basketball Directory Great collection of basket links, including GLBT (terrible presentation, but great content) [english]
And not to be forgoten...
>EuroGames 2003 from 29 May to 1 de June in Denmark
>Gay Games 2006 next Gay Games will be in Montreal, Canada, from 29 July to 5 August 2006
>Gay Games 2002 official site for the Gay Games VI in Sydney, Australia
>Outsports for GLBT sports