Basketball was first introduced into the Chinese schools in Malaysia in the early 20th century by teachers who came from China. The game was mostly played on outdoor gravel courts. Later, it spread to the Chinese Sports Clubs, and in the early 1930's, the enthusiasm was aroused by the visits of University and Club teams from China and Hong Kong. Since then, the game has become one of the most popular sports among the Chinese communities in Malaysia. In 1934 Inter State Tournament for Malayan Chinese was organised.
Official basketball rule books printed in Chinese were imported from Shanghai long before the war. These were superseded in 1956 when the FIBA version of the rules was printed locally in Chinese and English. In 1958 the national body for basketball, the Malaya Amateur Basketball Association, was formally established and Mr. Quek Kai Dong was elected the first President. The first annual national championship meet, the Agong Cup Championship was launched in August of the year. The organization was later re-named Malaysia Amateur Basketball Association (MABA) to bring within its fold the states of Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak, on the formation of Malaysia. In April 1965, the first Malaysian Youth Basketball Championship was launched in Penang. MABA is now composed of sixteen affiliated members, including thirteen State Associations, Federal Territory and two groups members : the Malaysia Armed Forces and the Royal Police.
MABA became a member of FIBA in 1957.
As one of the founders of the Asian Basketball Confederation in 1960, MABA has been a strong supporter of regional and international basketball championship meets, having participated in most of the ABC sponsored Asian Championships since their inception. In 1979 our Women's team took part in the XIIIth World Championship for Women we were placed eleventh, ahead of Senegal. The Men's National team took part in the Xth World Championship in Spain in 1986. We failed to qualify for the second round.
In the SEAP and SEA Games both Men and Women's team have done well. Our women's team has been five times gold medalist from 1977 - 1985.
MABA organised the 3rd, 9th, 13th Asian BAsketball Championships for Men in 1965, 1977, and 1986 respectively in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia also host 3rd, 7th and 11th Asian Basketball Championship for Women in 1970, 1978 and 1986 respectively. The 2nd World Interclub Qualifying Round 1984 was held in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. We were really honoured to be given the task by FIBA to organise the Pre-Olympic Championship for Women from 5 to 19 June 1988 and also the 11th World Basketball Championship for Women from 12 to 22 July 1990 and both the championships were successfully completed. In 1989 we also hosted the SEA Games (Basketball) and our men's national team won the gold after 10 years while the womens' team won the silver. MABA hosted the 4th Commonwealth Games for Men and Women, Kuala Lumpur, Sungai Petani, Kedah from 17 - 24 July 1995 and also the first South East Asia Basketball Association (SEABA) Mens Championship in Segamat, Johore from 10th - 16th April 1994. Malaysia won the Inaugural SEABA Men's Championship.
Following the official introduction of the game of mini-basketball by FIBA after a decision taken at the Mexico Congress in 1968, the MABA took the initiative of translating the official rules into the Chinese and Malayan languages. It then reproduced 10,000 copies in three languages ( English, Chinese and Malay) for extensive distribution to ABC member organizations and all the primary schools throughout Malaysia. The first mini-basket championship was held in Malaysia at the end of 1970. The inauguration of this championship complete the three-phase promotion of basketball activities with organised development and competition at primary immediate, and advanced levels. The policy and programmes of the MABA Executive Council are implemented by nine committees, i.e. international and Invitational, finance, technical, women's basketball, youth basketball, technical aid, referees' and coaches' committeess. In collaboration with the ABC and assisted by the FIBA, MABA organised the Asian Seminar for Referees and Coaches in Kuala Lumpur in April 1970. The Seminar, conducted by R.W Jones, Secretary-General of FIBA was attended by ninety-eight perticipants from Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia. Since 1972, Coaches' and Referees' Cinics have been regularly held at West and East Malaysia through the financial assistance of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and sports. National sports Council Council and International Olympic Council. To date hundreds of coaches and referees from various part of the country have undergone such training.
In 1975 the first advance basketball coaching course was conducted by three top American coaches : Coach Bobby Knight, Coach Bon Boyd and Coach Ellenburger. Another advance coaching course was held in 1984. From then on the coaches committee never look back as far as training coaches is concerned. Three coaches, Wee Cheong Phor, Tan See Wah and Yeoh Choo Hock were sent to Rome to attend the first International Olympic Solidarity Basketball Coaching course for two months in October and November 1977. MABA was given the honour to host the Regional IOC Basketball Coaching Course in 1984 and 1987. The experts for the 1984 course were Coach Herd Livesay and Coach Jay Hillock from USA and the 1987 were Coach Terry Schofied (USA) and Burna Arrigoni ( Italy ).
IOC Coaching Clinic was organised from 12 - 21 October 1992. Experts are Mr. Jim Calvin and Mr. Stephen Barr of Australia.
Dato' Yeoh Choo Hock, Secretary-General, MABA was appointed by IOC as expert for conducting coaching course in Vientiane, Laos and Phnom Phen, Combodia in 1993. Dato' Yeoh Choo Hock, Secretary General of MABA was appointed by the Secretary General, FIBA as an Ex-officio in the World Basketball Technical Committee in 1990.
MABA has 33 FIBA Referees and 450 MABA Referees. The referee committee has been organising clinics to keep up with the changes of the rules.
In order to encourage players of other communities apart from Chinese to take on active part in basketball, the first non Chinese Championship was launched in Kuala Lumpur in December 1973. But sad to say that due to poor response the competition lasted only until 1975. In 1995 the revival of the non-chinese tournament known as National Basketball Championship 'Sedap Cup' saw 13 teams from 10 states taking part. The National Youth Cup Championship and the National Agung Cup Championship in April and July / August respective has been the two most important events in MABA Calendar every year. Besides these two major events MABA League was introduces in 1984 and 1985. Due to financial constrained faced by all the teams it was temporary discontinued.
In order to have permanent headquaters of its own. MABA has launched its long cherished plan of constructing a twelve storey building. The project, completed in May 1971, provides hostel accommodations for officials and players, a canteen, library and conference hall for the basketball fraternities, as well as a venue for clinics and training seminars.
The 12 storey MABA headquaters is an imposing landmark in the heart of the busy city of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. Its establishment in 1970 was mainly to the efforts of the late Tan Sri Khaw Kai Boh, a former president of MABA and the Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC) and former vice-president of the world body FIBA.
The building also houses the secretariat of the Asian Basketball Confederation The Late Mr. Lum Mun Chak was Secretary General of the ABC from 1983-1991 and Mr. Yeoh Choo Hock was his Technical Assistant.
MABA House is a symbol of the progress and development of the game of basketball in Malaysia and also in the region.
The completion of the MABA / DBKL Basketball Stadium and the Multi-Storey Car park plus the basketball training court and two level domitories on top of the car park speaks well for the leadership of MABA. The stadium project consists of a basement which is rented out as a restaurant, a mezanine floor which has a medical room, two office rooms and an open space of about 5,000 sq.ft. which can be rented out for exhibition purposes. The top level of the stadium is the basketball court which is fully air-conditioned.
During the construction period Mr. Wong Chee Kooi, Mr. Lim Yew Jin and Mr. Yeoh Choo Hock were appointed to represent MABA in the Stadium Board Building Committee. Another 3 representative were from DBKL.
Today MABA stands tall with its own MABA Building, Basketball Stadium and Car Park.