Today on the Basketball Manitoba Podcast we have Mike Ruta.

He is considered the “Father of the WMBA,” as he led the formation of the Winnipeg Minor Basketball Association in 1997 and became the league’s first President.  His vision was to provide a structured basketball league for Winnipeg area youth outside the school system and open for all to participate.

The league kicked off its first season in 1997 with 40 teams out of 12 community centers.  The Spring League of 2008 saw a record high of 310 teams.

Adding to this legacy, the WMBA Foundation has built six outdoor basketball courts, awarded scholarships to graduating players yearly, and provided subsidies for players and community clubs in need.

Mike was named the Sport Manitoba Volunteer of the Year in 1997 and inducted into the Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame in the Builder category in 2011.  In 2017, he received the Governor General Meritorious Service Medal in recognition of his service to the community.


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