|Head coach||Eric Hayes|
|Championships||SEABL/CBA: 3 (1989, 1994, 1995)|
The Ballarat Miners are a basketball team that play in the East Conference of the South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL). They are the men's team of the Ballarat Basketball Association. Their sister club, the Ballarat Rush, play in the women's division of the SEABL.
The Ballarat Basketball Association Inc. was incorporated in 1966 and then built its own freehold facility in 1969 on the corner of Grevillea Road and Dowling Street in Wendouree. Backed by a flourishing local basketball program and facilities at the forefront of regional basketball associations, it was announced in 1985 that Ballarat would lodge an application to join the South East Basketball League (SEBL).
Basketball Ballarat formed a separate independent club to arrange the new venture and the Elite Teams department was established. The team chosen to represent Ballarat was called the Ballarat Miners and in 1986, the Miners were admitted into both the Victorian Basketball Association (VBA) Division 1 and the South East Basketball League (SEBL).
In their first nine years of VBA competition, the Miners only missed out on the finals twice. Overall across those nine years, the Miners won 147 of 219 games with a winning percentage of 67%. Undeniably the most memorable victory was in the 1989 Grand Final when for the first time in the VBA's history, a regional team won the title. This title came at the expense of the Melbourne Tigers, one of Australia's premier teams led by coach Lindsey Gaze and star player Andrew Gaze.
A separate women's team called the Lady Miners began in March 1984 and played in the Victorian Championship until 1990 when they joined the SEABL for the inaugural women's season. In 1991, they left the SEABL and joined the CVIBL, and it was here that they achieved considerable success, winning eight straight championships between 1995 and 2002 before re-joining the SEABL in 2003. Over the following eight seasons under Kym Cassells, the Lady Miners made the playoffs five times including four consecutive grand final appearances and a championship win in 2005. Despite finishing runner-up in 2006 behind the Bendigo Lady Braves, the Lady Miners went on to win the 2006 women's ABA National Championship. In February 2011, the Lady Miners were renamed the Ballarat Rush.
In 2012, the Miners were coached by Guy Molloy, who shared his coaching commitments with the Australian side competing at the FIBA Under 17 World Championship. Despite struggling with injuries, including a broken arm to import Kodi Augustus, the Miners had the league's best finish to the regular season with six wins. Amongst these wins were victories over East Conference leaders the Dandenong Rangers and South Conference leaders the Knox Raiders. Despite having the South Conference's best percentage, the Miners found themselves in a five-way tie and narrowly missed the finals. The Miners' 16 wins, 12 loss record was their best since 2006.
In 2015, Kodi Augustus returned to the Miners alongside former Perth Wildcats guards Everard Bartlett and Anthony Fisher. In December 2015, Earnest Ross, another former Wildcat, signed with the Miners for the 2016 season.
In their inaugural season as the Rush in 2011, the team had a roster with players such as veteran Andrea McMahon, Ashleigh Stonehouse and Kate Willey. Donna Rinaldi was the head coach, making it her first year in the position.
|Ballarat Miners roster|
- 3× SEABL/CBA Champions: 1989, 1994, 1995
- 4× South Conference Champions: 1987, 1989, 1990, 2001
- 1× East Conference Champions: 1991
- 1× ABA Champions: 2006
- 1× SEABL Champions: 2005
- 3× Big V Champions: 2000, 2001, 2002
- 5× CVIBL Champions: 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999
- "History". BallaratBasketball.com. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
- "BALLARAT LADY MINERS RENAMED RUSH". SEABL.com.au. 22 February 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
- Whelan, Melanie (8 July 2012). "BASKETBALL: Molloy leads Australia to gold medal match". TheCourier.com.au. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- Brehaut, David (3 May 2012). "Miners: Kodi Augustus going home". TheCourier.com.au. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- 2015 GMHBA Miners season preview
- 2015 SEASON PREVIEW - BALLARAT
- Ballarat Basketball 2015 Media Guide
- Miners Sign Former Wildcat
- McDermott, Josh (23 February 2011). "Ballarat Rush add Melbourne youngster to their SEABL roster". ABC.net.au. Retrieved 9 July 2012.