Maciej's 'team' approach to running basketball competition

LEADER: Maciej Jankowski is president of the Port Pirie Basketball Association. He is pictured at John Pirie Secondary School where he is deputy principal.
LEADER: Maciej Jankowski is president of the Port Pirie Basketball Association. He is pictured at John Pirie Secondary School where he is deputy principal.

Just like being a member of the Pacers men's basketball team, Maciej Jankowski is president of a collective known as the Port Pirie Basketball Association.

He shares in the highs and lows of the association as if he were winning and losing for his club.

The John Pirie Secondary School deputy principal with the unusual name is in his first year as president of the association based at Donaldson Stadium, in Grey Terrace.

The grand finals have been held as another season drew to a close, this time with some major achievements.

"We did an an analysis - we needed to improve our financial situation,' Mr Jankowski said.

"As a board, we decided to cut costs where possible, but also use electronic transfers as opposed to cash wherever possible.

"Mel Promnitz, our administrator and board member, played a key role in that, making sure everything is up to scratch."

He described the team associated with the board as a "coalition of the willing". Led by Nadine Chivell, they returned to using volunteers in the canteen, saving thousands of dollars in wages.

Dropping yet another name, Mr Jankowski said former president Thomas Maywald "did a fantastic job" in this area in what was "a team effort all the way through".

"Our vice-president Les Promnitz was very new to running a not-for-profit organisation and he has helped me tremendously in learning how an organisation is run," he said. "Les looks after our information technology needs."

The technological advances did not stop there - up to 500 photographs of basketball action are posted every week on Facebook. He credits Kate and Corey Mudge, who coaches the Ducks, for this development.

"Kate has been taking photographs on Wednesday and Thursday for about 20 weeks," he said. "She was a huge help when we had our Port Pirie carnival. Some players are using the photographs as profile pictures. It has really provided recognition to a game we all love. It has been brilliant."

The association is developing its umpiring standards to the highest level with two Adelaide-accredited officials, Danny Champion and Damien Mellow.

"Finding players is 'no worries', but finding people who want to umpire is a big challenge," Mr Jankowski said.

He paid tribute to the Da Friz Boys, a group of leading men basketballers, for inspiring youngsters. "As a board, we will rally around them," he said.

Some of the younger players had the idea of holding the senior Most Valuable Player count as an event and arranged to sell tickets for it.

"It is an event that should be celebrated with more magnitude than it has been before," Mr Jankowski said.

The season was capped by the Pirie Panthers winning the state country men's title in a thriller at the stadium.

Mr Jankowski said Matt Promnitz was ensuring players of the future through his role as combined junior development office.

And what about that name?

Mr Jankowski said he was born in Poland and moved to Canada when he was nine years old - "that is where my accent comes from".

"I have been in Australia for a long time and I don't plan to leave," he said.

With his wife, he is expecting their first child in December - perhaps a budding basketballer.

He feels his first year as president has opened his eyes to the depth of talent in the association, both on and off the court.

"There are a lot of positive people who want to put in their time ... I feel we are definitely heading in the right direction now," he said.