The Mormon Yankees were an exhibition basketball team in Australia from 1937-1961. Composed of young missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the team played all over Australia and became widely known. One Mormon Yankees squad played exhibition games against International teams preparing for the 1956 Summer Olympics, which were held in Australia that year.
See more videos for Mormon Yankees Basketball Australia
Mormon Yankees: Giants on and off the Court describes an almost twenty-five-year period (1938–61) during which basketball-playing Church missionaries had a profound effect upon the Australian Latter-day Saint community, as well as on Australian basketball. Prolific author Fred Woods skillfully develops his thesis that the use of basketball as a proselyting tool brought both the Church and Australian basketball out of obscurity.
1954 Mormon Yankees team was a group of LDS Church missionaries in Australia. (KUTV) The Mormon Yankees were a real life basketball team made up of LDS church missionaries more than a decade ago.
The Mormon Yankee Basketball team comprised young men serving as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Australia. From 1937 to 1961, these athletically gifted missionaries used basketball as a tool to share the gospel in Australia and became well-known as the “Mormon Yankees.”
Although the Mormon Yankees basketball program was discontinued in 1961, it surely served a great purpose in early missionary work in Australia. In fact, since The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was introduced to Australia in 1840, the Church has never received as much positive publicity in one decade as it received from the Mormon Yankees in the 1950s.
More Mormon Yankees Basketball Australia images
In 1956, when the Summer Olympics were held in Melbourne, the Mormon Yankees even helped prep the Australian national basketball team, so the Aussies wouldn’t be embarrassed on their home court. That story was the basis for a 2016 Australian movie called Spirit of the Game.
Church-Sponsored Basketball Team, "Mormon Yankees," Once a Major Missionary Tool. Church ball today sometimes gets a bad rap, but it wasn't always that way. Back in 1937, local Church authorities in Australia sponsored a traveling basketball team.
Mormon Missionaries Played in Olympic Games in Australia. ,, . Copied to Clipboard. . In light of the Olympic Games taking place in China, it is interesting to reflect on an event involving Mormon missionaries that took place in Australia for the 1956 games held in Melbourne. A men’s basketball team called the “Mormon Yankees” brought favorable publicity when they were asked to play practice and exhibition games with various Olympic teams in the weeks preceding the official games.
Nyle Garn (back row, second from left) was a member of the Mormon Yankees basketball team that helped to prepare the Australian team for the Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, in 1956.