This is how it all began…


It was spring and a slight breeze was shuffling the tarot cards on the table of a pub frequented by those a bit longer in the tooth at the Špica embankment. It must have been that all the Urškas of Ljubljana steered clear of the Prule bridge because, according to the legend, it was precisely there that an a mysterious stranger made away with the fairest of them all, not to be seen for quite a while after . And where no women are involved, men quickly start getting other ideas.

Today no-one quite remembers who it was that casually mentioned how nice it would be to have a basketball club. Was it Ogrin, Nemec or Javornik, perhaps Teger or Nemgar…? The memory of that precise moment is long gone. There remains, however, a legend which just might end up surpassing in fame even that of the fair abductee.

The legend that is Basketball Club PRULE.

Of course, after that, everything had to be arranged regarding registration and putting up a court, clothing, footwear, the screen, benches, clocks, scorekeepers, and a multitude of other errands before the referees finally blew their first whistles and tossed the ball into the air in Prule, at the club that proudly bounces under the same name to this day. The work of the pioneers was hard, but all the members of the club performed it with plenty of enthusiasm under the first chairman, Mr. Podbrščak. Among them was the ever tireless member and a veritable father-figure of the club, Mirko Rešek. The club was established in April of 1967. The first president was succeeded by Mr. Kavčič, who remained at the head of the club until the Resolutions of Portorož, which thwarted his ambitious plans.

Basketball Club Prule came on top in their very first year of playing in the 1st Ljubljana League. In the following seasons the club played in the 2nd Slovenian League. When the Prule players first were in the position to advance to the 1st Slovenian League the club said no. When that happened the next time, they agreed. This was the time when the club was flourishing. During the play-off against Olimpija, the attendance record was broken. We did not know how many people came to see us play that day. So enormous was the crowd that many of the hopefuls were left outside, and could not see the match even from the balconies of the surrounding buildings or treetops.

After 1976, the year that the infamous Resolutions of Portorož were adopted, which enforced a different organisation of basketball clubs, the club discontinued active participation in competition on all levels.

Some kind of extraordinary determination, so often seen in athletes, managed to keep together the same team which, with hard work and enthusiasm of trailblazers, had earned its permanent place in the sky of Slovenian basketball. The members began addressing each other as seniors and stuck to playing basketball. They organised the club independently and joined forces with other senior clubs with which they shared the same unfortunate destiny, brought upon them by the Resolutions. They began playing exhibition games first, then tournaments. As the tournaments were becoming frequenter, they also went from traditional to international events. The Prule team were especially active in the international field. There is no other senior team in Slovenia with as many international appearances and victories.

The traditional show time of the Prule veterans were the tournaments in Munich.

More than one hundred players have played for the club in all of its teams. The players of today continue to blaze new trails and open new horizons for the senior basketball of Slovenia with numerous international collaborations.

Having reached 30, it is said that one is too young to die and too old to rock'n roll – one is the way one is and cannot change much anymore, no matter how hard one might try.

The club thrives on its own, on contributions and an annual lottery. It is without permanent sponsors or donations. We often kindly ask friends of the club, and basketball and sport enthusiasts for their help.

Contributions by our friends mean a lot to us. We regard them as an act of appreciation and reverence for our tenacity and love of basketball and sport in general. To those who give belongs a piece of our common happiness and success.

There has been no new blood in the club for each and every one of the members has irrevocably retained the playful soul of a child and will continue to merrily chase after the ball well into old age. It is this very disposition, combined with ardour and devotion, that has preserved the club to this day and that invokes in our rivals the envy and the desire: to be like those of Prule.

The atmosphere of the Prule team is one of constant jesting, but the members can change it up when necessary and work quickly and efficiently. The club boasts a democratic code of conduct where decisions are made exclusively by voting. The symbiosis of the spirit of fun and seriousness is seen in a typical episode: if a player pushes the ball between an opponent’s legs everybody cheers and shouts, but the offender is immediately and without exception sent to the bench. If a member is called on a technical foul by the referee everybody stands by him, but he is penalised by having to organise a BBQ at his own expense. Alas, in recent times we have witnessed the quality of the referees go awry - they have stopped calling technical fouls on Prule. Everybody always fears for the fate of the annual tournament due to lack of time and all the things that need to be done, but the diligent organisers never fail and eventually all is in order. Oftentimes the organisation is simply impeccable.

The Prule guys truly are a curious bunch with few counterparts in the basketball world. Where else can one find a club with such a degree of independence, and whose members form such a close-knit unit as to have remained such a successful team?

Few people are able to find moderation in everything they do. The Prule team have managed to find just the right balance of play, friendly fraternising, and competitiveness. Over the years the club has had injections of fresh blood that have helped to keep the competitive spirit alive, but never at the expense of friendship. A happy soul is the prerequisite for a healthy life of just about any club; winning is the logical consequence.

What say you to the fact that none of the cornucopia of wins in international tournaments have stuck in the memories of the team as much as the win in the Paulaner Tent at Oktoberfest, when our song resonated louder than even that of the FC Bayern Munich supporters and left the Germans gaping in amazement?

Yes, these are the Prule men, capable of losing to a team of women or disabled persons, just as well as taking down semi-professional league teams. Under beer tents they usually live up to their role as favourites.

How beautiful it is to see graceful black athletes changing light bulbs on the hall ceiling! And young talents quarrelling, having no grasp of what has just happened to them – the ball has been swept away from under their eyes, yet the score keeps rising relentlessly.

At the end of the day it feels nice when unknown teams as a rule underestimate Prule, watching them struggle to warm up for their first match, all potbellied and bloodshot eyed. Yet surely the tables eventually turn, as some opponents exhibit regular fits of hysterics, willing to sell their souls to the devil just to see Prule vanquished.

Let me tell you what the charm of Basketball Club Prule is: the club has NEVER been defeated. The Prule team wins often, and sometimes their opponents will come out on top; yet when all is said and done, in the pub, in the midst of laughter and merrymaking, every single friend of basketball, sport and goodwill is the winner.