Peter Godfrey well remembers donning the Parade colours for the first organised game of basketball in which he ever competed.
“The game took place in the old Albert Park stadium . . . that’s where it all began,” Peter said this week.
The 1975 edition of The Paradian finds Peter amongst members of the College’s Under 13 Jets team, including the captain Terry Twomey (son of Collingwood footballer Pat), Jamie Kennedy (father of West Coast’s footballer Josh) and Renato Bartolomei - now a New Zealand-based film and television actor whose credits include the TV series Xena: Warrior Princess in which he featured as Beowulf.
Fast forward 44 years and Peter remains a sizeable presence on the basketball scene, having just been appointed Men’s Head Coach of Kilsyth Cobras in NBL1. The appointment signals Peter’s return to Kilsyth for the first time in five years, having coached the Cobras at the Big-V VYC and SEABL levels between 2006 and 2015.
Peter spent the past four years in the Big-V, leading Hawthorn to back-to-back Final Four appearances in the Big-V Championship division in 2018 and 2019. His successes at Big-V level saw him named the Big-V State Championship Coach of the Year in 2018 — the third time he has claimed league coaching honours since 2014.
Peter spent eight years with the Cobras as the Men’s lead Assistant Coach (2006 to 2013), playing a key role in leading the Cobras to a regular season title in 2010 and conference runners-up in 2017. In 2014, he took charge of the VYC Cobra Men, guiding Kilsyth to the league’s best record and a Grand Final appearance in 2014, before going one better in 2015 as he led the Cobras to VYC championship.
His stellar two-year stint in the VYC saw him claim back-to-back VYC Coach of the Year honours, in addition to being named the Basketball Victoria Coach of the Year in 2015.
“It’s a privilege to be given the opportunity to coach the NBL1 Men at Kilsyth,” Peter told Kilsyth Basketball.
“It’s a proud and storied club where I previously spent ten great years. My time away has been invaluable from a head coaching perspective, spending the past four years grinding away in the Big-V.
“My aim is that we will be fun to watch play and the fellas will play for one another.”
In a Q and A with this correspondent, Peter talked of the NBL1 competition as “the second best league in Australia”. As he said: “It feeds the NBL with its elite professional and semi- professional athletes”.
“I coach primarily to give back to a sport that has given me so much over a lifetime... and still very much enjoy the competitive side of team sports,” Peter said.
“Basketball has been a constant feature of my life since that very first game for Parade. A couple of my fondest basketball memories from Parade are winning back-to-back ACC championships in Year 11 and Year 12.
“We always battled footy for headlines back then, but from memory we got some love.”