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Friday July 21, 2006 Basketball :: Basketball Australia

Ramsay a Legend, Timms inducted to Hall of Fame

Basketball Australia Australian Opals legend, Michele Timms, has joined 12 others as inductees to Basketball Australia’s Hall of Fame in Melbourne on Thursday night, joining the likes of Lindsay and Andrew Gaze and Robyn Maher, who were inducted as part of the inaugural Hall of Fame Dinner in 2004.

Timms was joined on stage at the dinner at the Sofitel, Melbourne by other former greats of Australian basketball - Larry Sengstock and Maree Jackson, while Luc Longley was honoured, but was unable to travel to Melbourne for the dinner.

Australia has its first official basketball legend in Alastair Ramsay, who after being inducted as Hall of Famer in 2004, was elevated to Legend by the Hall of Fame Honours Committee on Thursday night.

Ramsay has had a big week with New Zealand last night winning the Ramsay Shield from Australia for only the second time in history. The Kiwis won the final match of the Resi Mortgage Test Series in Melbourne, taking the series in a points countback.

Coaches, officials and contributors were also recognised on the night, with Australia’s most successful women’s coach, Tom Maher joining his wife Robyn in the Hall. Ray Tomlinson was also recognised for his outstanding success as an Australian junior women’s coach.

Following the theme of women’s basketball, Betty Watson was recognised for her years of dedication to the Australian women’s team and for her part in helping found the Women’s National Basketball League. Her friend Pat Moore was also recognised for her work in establishing a foundation for women’s basketball in the 1950s through to the launch of the WNBL in 1981.

Bob Staunton, well known throughout New South Wales and Australia for work within junior basketball development from the 1950s through to the 1990s, was inducted along with Tasmania’s George Russell who helped basketball spread throughout every state in Australia during his reign as President of the Australian Basketball Union.

Australian referee Eddie Crouch was recognised after 800-plus NBL games and more than 50 international games. John Holden was also inducted as an official for his work not only with a whistle in hand, but what he did teaching and promoting refereeing to a new generation in the years following his professional retirement.

Not all those honoured on the night were inducted into the Hall of Fame. Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to NSW man Jack Small for his contribution to the sport in Australia, while Bob Young was recognised with the same award for his part in the development of junior basketball in Queensland from the 1960s to 1990s.

The Opals’ Hollie Grima and Boomers player CJ Bruton were recognised as Basketball Australia’s International Players of the Year for 2005 (Maher and Gaze medals), while Brad Ness was the first player to be honoured with the Sandy Blythe Medal for International Wheelchair Player of the Year.

Grass roots basketball was also celebrated, with six Basketball Australia Volunteer Awards being delivered to those who have made an outstanding contribution to basketball in a voluntary capacity over the past ten years or more. Ian Ellis (ACT), Trevor Baker (SA), Peter Basket (ACT), Rosemary Day (VIC), Vern Tessier (VIC).

Outstanding Basketball Associations were also recognised – South East Basketball Association Inc (TAS), Newcastle (NSW) and Kilsyth and Mountain Districts (VIC).

The Basketball Australia Hall of Fame was founded in 2004 in order to recognise those people who have made an outstanding contribution to the sport of basketball in Australia at any level.

The inductees, their guests and many of Australian basketball’s most famous faces were hosted in the Grand Ballroom of Melbourne’s Sofitel on Collins Street.

Luc Longley and Tom Maher were unable to join the other inductees on the night, while family members of Bob Staunton and George Dancis were in attendance to represent the men.

Nominations for the Hall of Fame were called for earlier this year with a list of finalists short-listed by an Honours Committee. The finalists were then submitted to the Board of Basketball Australia for approval.

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