THE HORNETS

In the 1950's Redford Basketball Club flourished. Their recruiting campaigns at the SCPR's "Festivals of Sport" held in Edinburgh at the Waverley Market were extremely successful. With a glut of young players they were challenging the all powerful Pleasance Club. In the summer of 1954 Redford Club members Tucker Johnston, Ernie Glass and Jim Anderson decided the time was right to break away from Redford to form a club which was to establish a new order in Scottish Basketball. The Hornets were born.

Hitherto clubs had appeared on court in a motley assembly of uniforms. These were usually athletic vests of approximately the same colour and should have carried a number on the front and back. The numbers were required to identify the points scored and number of fouls commited by each player. Scorers recording the statistics used a variety of symbols to identify players if statutory numbers were missing.

The Hornets had something better in mind. The summer was spent raising funds to purchase uniforms which were made to measure for each player. Green was chosen as no other team in the Lothians sported that colour. Regulation size numbers were displayed on front and back of uniforms along with the new club name. The Hornets debut in the autumn of 1954 caused a mild sensation in the Scottish basketball world. In addition the prime movers of the new club were on a recruiting drive looking for the vital "Big Man" to support the talented players in the squad. The search proved successful when 6ft 6in cycling addict Jimmy Deans was persuaded to join the Hornets.

All summer the players met to practise and prepare for the new season. With information filtering through from materiel garnered from coaching books and literature sourced from libraries and the United States the Hornets would not only look different, they would employ strategies which were previously unknown in Scottish basketball circles. Man to man defence and pressure defences were new tactics which emphasised the importance of the role of the Team Coach. Having recognised his playing limitations, Ernie Glass agreed to take on the coaching mantle and his research and enthusism would prove to be vital as the Hornets quickly established themselves as a major power in Scottish basketball.

This early success resulted in many local young players being attracted to the club. Notable among them were Ken Johnston, recently demobilised from National Service, George Turnbull, David Turner John Spence and Ian Gordon. Major factors in the progress of the team were the leadership of Coach Ernie Glass and the strength of Jimmy Deans in the centre of attack and defence. The Hornets would soon become the leading club in the East of Scotland and go on to win several Scottish Cup Medals.

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