Belleville Spirits Girls Basketball Club was founded in 1987, and has been providing recreational and competitive basketball to local youth ever since. Located in Belleville, Ontario, and made possible thanks to volunteer staff, coaches, and sponsors.
Spirits strives to assist our players in reaching their maximum potential, both as basketball players and citizens of our community. Our goal is to guide players in learning that they can achieve more than they ever thought possible while developing self-confidence.
Belleville Spirits started in 1987 with one team of 15 and 16 year old girls. This original Spirits team, clad in fluorescent orange and ridiculously small uniforms, was formed by Paul Gaudet who served as team manager and Mike Kirby as head coach. Gaudet’s stay with the Spirits was short-lived but Kirby continued on over the next 30 years.
Throughout the 1990s, the Spirits consistently fielded girls’ midget (grade 9, 10) and juvenile (grades 11, 12) teams. It was also during this period that the growth of organized youth basketball in Ontario exploded and, whereas it was once difficult to find enough teams to play against, now every town and city seemed to be represented.
Then, around the turn of the century, the Spirits added both boys and girls teams of elementary school aged players. Jim Barbeau was the driving force behind the Spirits boys and Erik Anderson was the first to coach girls at the bantam (grade 7, 8) level. Since that time, hundreds of boys and girls have donned the Spirits uniform, many starting as young as 8 years old and finishing their Spirits career at the age of 18.
The Spirits club continued to grow throughout the 2000s, led by Steve McCurdy, Lisa Howard, Ken Smith, Drew Davidson and Erin Rose, all serving as President of the club during that time. More and more Spirits grads went on to play post-secondary basketball as well as, of course, earning various degrees. The club's growth resulted in being able to field multiple teams at the different age levels and maintaining a high level of competitiveness among the Ontario clubs. In particular, the year 2019 was a special one which saw the Spirits U16 girls, coached by Tom Callahan, win the club's first ever Division 1 Ontario championship. An amazing accomplishment!
Check out our alumni page here!
What People are saying about Belleville Spirits
“Our Belleville girls can ball!”
“Girls basketball in Belleville has been amazing! Spirits coaches deserve a ton of credit for development at such a young age!”
“Classy groups of girls, coaches, and parents! Hope to see you again soon.”