Salvo Slammers feel like kings on debut appearance in new uniforms
BY DEAN SIMPSON
The newly formed Salvo Slammers basketball team hit the court for the first time in their shiny new uniforms at the weekend in a curtain-raiser to the Sydney Kings National Basketball League home match at Qudos Bank Arena.
The game was the final of the Corporate Cup, a three-on-three tournament involving teams representing sponsors and organisations involved with the Sydney Kings NBL franchise.
Major Darren Kingston led the Slammers onto Qudos Arena to the stadium announcer’s booming voice. Their opponents were a team representing the Guzman y Gomez fast-food restaurant chain.
“We entered a Salvos team in this season’s Corporate Cup, but we really didn’t have an official name or official singlets. We thought we’d better look the part for the final, so my brother Nathan organised the kit (singlet and shorts) and came up with the name ‘Salvo Slammers’. So, yeah, it was technically the debut of the Salvo Slammers on Sunday,” Darren laughed.
The Slammers were beaten by a point, but that wasn’t the point, Darren said, admitting they still felt like winners as they came off the court. “It was a great experience. We had a lot of fun.”
The Salvo Slammers comprised players from four Sydney corps and centres – Macquarie Fields Mission, Parramatta Corps, Inner-West Corps and Shire Salvos.
The team for the Qudos Bank Arena match included Darren Kingston and his sons Josh and Ben, Kem Pobjie and his daughter Nika, and Josiah Collinson. Josiah’s brother Noah and their father, Major David Collinson, are also part of the team and played in the tournament’s early rounds.
“We did really well in the early rounds of the Corporate Cup (played at the Kings’ training headquarters at Moore Park in December), and we made it through to the final,” Darren said.
“We haven’t really got a sponsor, but we do have the words ‘Bible Notes’ on the back of our singlets. Bible Notes is an app my brother created ... it helps you take sermon notes and devotional notes and gives advice on that sort of thing, and it also has the Bible on it in different translations. It’s growing in popularity, so we’re hoping people will see our singlets and go and try the app.”
Darren, who is a team member at Macquarie Fields Mission in Sydney’s south-west, said he would love to turn the Salvo Slammers team into an ongoing sports ministry.
“Basketball is pretty popular among young people in the Sydney region, and it would be great to get the young people we work with involved in the Salvo Slammers team and perhaps join a local comp. There’s also The Salvation Army interstate basketball carnival that’s held every year, so that’s something else we could aim at.
“Sport is a great way to connect with people, so my prayer is that God will use this team to reach people for the Kingdom.”
More photos from the game (all photos by Lena Pobjie):