BASKETBALL Victoria is celebrating the best of the previous year with the announcement of the Basketball Victoria 2020 Awards winners.
We are proud to announce our 2020 award winners this year via social media and our website, to let our high-performing athletes, associations, coaches and officials continue to earn their just recognition for incredible work across the year.
“While 2020 was a year of immense challenges, with lockdowns and the postponement of basketball testing our resolve as a community, the resilience our associations, clubs, players, coaches, referees and all involved showed throughout was nothing short of incredible,” Basketball Victoria CEO Nick Honey said. “Even with the difficult year we’ve all been through, it’s important to celebrate the best of our sport and those superstar Victorian athletes, coaches, referees and associations.
“I would like to congratulate all of our winners on their achievements throughout such an unprecedented year.”
Knox Basketball Inc. was celebrated as our Association of the Year following its impressive year handling 2020’s difficulties and strongly returning from the postponement of basketball. Frankston and District Basketball Association was named Association of the Year Runner-Up and Casey Basketball Association (Junior Program of the Year), Broadmeadows Basketball (Inclusive Association of the Year) and Waverley Basketball Association (Referee Program of the Year) rounded out our association awards.
Our elite individual award winners included Australian and NBA/WNBA representatives Ben Simmons (Alan Hughes Medal) and Ezi Magbegor (Betty Watson Medal) while the Junior Athletes of the Year were Jade Melbourne and Dyson Daniels.
BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION OF THE YEAR
Knox Basketball Inc. has been named our Association of the Year following its incredible efforts both digitally and physically to maintain its community and rebound from the 2020 postponement of basketball. From online training sessions with coaches and icons, to Sports and Life Training and VJBL Rep Ready Sessions to get players back on court raring to go. Throughout the COVID-19 lockdown, Knox held a drive through basketball giveaway to help kids stuck at home stay active and have a ball if they couldn’t access one. Knox’s ability to access and utilise Government funding and grants ensured its staff stayed at 75 per cent salary throughout the lockdowns and enabled the association to be debt-free by 31 March 2021.
BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION OF THE YEAR – RUNNER UP
Frankston and District Basketball Association has been named our Association of the Year – Runner Up from its impressive approach to handling the difficulties of 2020. Through COVID-19 reactivation and coping with the lockdowns, Frankston was able to engage its community, grow its competitions upon return to sport and give a variety of options for all involved in the game. Frankston was able to host the one of the largest outdoor 3×3 Hustle – Street Hustle Event (outdoor), with 141 teams playing over three weeks while restrictions remained in place around indoor sport. Association growth through its domestic competitions and hosting a number of weekly in-depth Zoom sessions in lockdown covering all aspects of the association from junior domestic, introduction, junior rep and for general members.
JUNIOR PROGRAM OF THE YEAR
Casey Basketball Association has been awarded the Junior Program of the Year for a number of exceptional programs, tournaments and campaigns it spearheaded across 2020. The association worked to create the South East Junior Basketball Tournament in conjunction with a number of other south-east associations. Casey created an online community to with all welcome to join and participate in workouts, training sessions and other Zoom-related activities. The association followed this up with the Junior Cavalier online program to provide online fitness, strength and conditioning sessions with its partners.
INCLUSIVE BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION OF THE YEAR
Broadmeadows Basketball Association has been named our Inclusive Basketball Association of the Year for its efforts in providing A diverse community and looking for ways to break down barriers to participate in basketball. The association worked with the Centre For Multicultural Youth, Banksia Gardens Community Centre, Youth Activating Youth and Hume City Council to provide clinics for disadvantaged youths. The Broncos at Home Portal and Mini Hoopers at home also provide workout and educational videos. The association also recognised the achievements of its past Indigenous players with a series of NAIDOC Week interviews. Broadmeadows is moving to add Walking Basketball program this year and add to its other suite of programs.
COACH OF THE YEAR
JULIA WALSH (BULLEEN-TEMPLESTOWE)
Julia Walsh has been named our Coach of the Year following a 2020 filled with significant achievements despite the postponement of basketball. Julia initiated a program to engage with the Boomers’ under-16 girls cohort in a basketball program designed to build connection, confidence, competence and character. The multi-level program was designed with knowledge of drop out figures for young women in sport and knowing that competency and fun are key determinant of continued engagement. Of particular worthiness was the mental performance skills program delivered every month and the guest speakers and coaches. Players from all five teams attended and numbers for this age group were maintained. Julia was a finalist in the “Play by the Rules” national award for best program of the year. Julia in her role as Australian Boomerangs national head coach also ran Zoom camps for players every month and conducted zoom programs for children in India.
ALAN HUGHES MEDAL – MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Continuing his impressive career in the NBA, Ben Simmons has been named as the Alan Hughes Medal for the second time. As one of the most explosive players currently in the NBA, Simmons has been a powerhouse throughout his time at the Philadelphia 76ers and his season in and out of the bubble was no exception. He was named to the NBA All-Star Game for the second time and continued to showcase his defensive prowess in the league, where he was the 2020 NBA steals leader and named to the All-NBA Third Team and the NBA All-Defensive First team. He was part of the Australian Boomers Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games squad and remains in contention to compete for Australia at the postponed Olympics this year.
BETTY WATSON MEDAL – FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Our Betty Watson Medallist for 2020 is Ezi Magbegor. She had an exceptional 2020 in incredibly difficult circumstances, but shone both overseas and at home. She made her WNBL debut for the Seattle Storm in the WNBA bubble and made the most of her opportunities on the way to a WNBA championship. In 22 games she averaged 13.3 minutes on court, 6.5 points, a 56.9 field goal percentage, 2.5 rebounds, and 0.5 blocks. Across two WNBL seasons in 2020, Magbegor impressed with the Boomers as Melbourne made the finals twice only to just miss out on making the grand final. In the 2019-20 season, she was named the Betty Watson Australian Youth Player of the Year (formerly the WNBL Rookie of the Year award), scoring 38 votes from a possible tally of 42 votes. She was named to the Australian Opals squad for the Tokyo Olympic Games and is in the mix to represent her country at her first Olympics.
JUNIOR FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
JADE MELBOURNE (TRARALGON/COE)
Jade Melbourne has been named our Junior Female Athlete of the Year following an array of exceptional achievements in 2020 despite the lack of basketball across the board. Whether representing Victoria or making her WNBL debut, Melbourne was electric all year on court as she made the most of every chance to hit the court. Jade was exceptional at all levels in 2020; she shone at the Australian Junior Championships to help guide Victoria to gold, she was selected for the Basketball Without Borders Global Camp in Chicago and made an incredible impact in her WNBL debut season with the University of Canberra Capitals. Making the most of her opportunities in the WNBL bubble, Melbourne worked her way into the Capitals starting line-up and earned accolades as the Capitals’ best rookie. Jade also announced her commitment to Arizona State University, a Division I college, to continue her elite basketball career overseas to cap off an amazing year under the circumstances.
JUNIOR MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
DYSON DANIELS (BENDIGO/COE)
Dyson Daniels has been named our Junior Male Athlete of the Year after impressing across the board throughout Australia. He represented the NBA Global Academy at the Australian Junior Championships in Canberra and was selected to represent Victoria Country Under-18 Men later that year before the COVID-19 postponement of basketball cancelled the event. At only 16 years old, Daniels starred for the NBA Global Academy at the Under-20 championships, Daniels averaged 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 6.2 assists, 3.2 steals and shooting it at almost 64 percent from the field. He was also in contention for Australian duties at the Under-17 World Championships before it was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns. Daniels also earned a scholarship to the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence to cap off the year and push towards an impressive 2021 where he would make his Australian Boomers debut.
BASKETBALL VICTORIA MEDIA AWARD
Megan Hustwaite is an incredible recipient of our Basketball Victoria Media Award due to her exceptional work across a number of high-calibre media organisations, which is an extraordinary effort throughout the difficulties of 2020. Hustwaite’s passion for basketball as a freelance journalist comes across in her promotion of the sport, its athletes and people across mediums including major newspapers and publications in print and online, social media and on television. She joined the WNBL broadcast team for the WNBL Hub in Queensland and has been part of the NBL1 coverage team as just a small glimpse of her talents as a journalist, writer and presenter.
JACK TERRILL MEDAL
KEVIN MCLAREN (WARRAGUL)
For his outstanding achievements throughout country basketball across a number of years, Kevin McLaren has been awarded the 2021 Jack Terrill Medal. Kevin has been an excellent administrator of programs at all levels of our sport from grassroots through to supporting the state sporting organisation for a number of years.From his time with Yarragon Basketball Club, helping the club grow and develop to a 10-team club in Warragul’s domestic competition to serving as committee member and long-time volunteer at the Warragul, as well as contributing with Basketball Victoria on a number of programs. For over 15 years Kevin has been a tireless contributor to country events and programs, serving as camp manager for a number of country events including the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup (ACJBC) and Under-12 Country Jamboree, which require significant work and input to get up and running. He has been an incredible role model for players, coaches and other staff members throughout his time in country basketball and is a deserving winner of the Jack Terrill Medal.
JACK CARTER MEMORIAL MEDAL – ADMINISTRATOR OF THE YEAR
ANITA LEDGER (MCKINNON)
Anita Ledger from McKinnon Basketball Association has been named the winner of the Jack Carter Memorial Award as the Administrator of the Year. Anita provided outstanding leadership to manage MBA across the postponement of basketball. Anita regularly connected with staff, members, clubs, coaches, officials, local government and facilities through email and Zoom calls. Anita led the team with an organisation focus on being leaders within the industry and delivered a range of successful initiatives for the community to be active and safe. Her work included the development of a new five-year strategic plan, a phased Return to Sport plan and a Facility Implementation Plan. Her Business Continuity Plan minimised and controlled costs during closure of competition.
ALLAN ASHE MEMORIAL AWARD – VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
PENNY HAMMOND (LAKES ENTRANCE)
Penny Hammond from Lakes Entrance Amateur Basketball Association has been named our Allan Ashe Memorial Award winner as the Volunteer of the Year. Penny helped reintroduce a women’s competition in Lakes Entrance, establish the first Lakes Entrance Women’s CBL team in over 20 years as well as providing junior opportunities with an under-8 competition and Aussie Hoops. Penny holds up to seven positions within committee as a volunteer including Secretary, Junior Coordinator, Aussie Hoops Coordinator and Women’s Coordinator. She has been a significant contributor to Lakes Entrance basketball community and has been involved in committee for the last eight years.
TECHNICAL OFFICIAL F THE YEAR
DANIEL BATTYE (KNOX)
Daniel Battye has been named our Technical Official of the Year following some impressive appointments in the midst of the difficulties that 2020 presented. Daniel was one of five Victorian officials to enter the WNBL bubble in November and help keep the WNBL 2020 season going under the circumstances. His efforts were rewarded with selection to officiate in WNBL finals, including being named Crew Chief of the WNBL Grand Final. He is also part of the NBL Referee Panel and VBRA Knox president to cap off an impressive list of achievements.
EDDIE CROUCH AWARD – REFEREE PROGRAM OF THE YEAR
Waverley Basketball Association has been named our Eddie Crouch Award – Referee Program of the Year for their achievements in promoting and boosting opportunities for referees across the association. Waverley continues to be a family and socially-focused association with minimal change at the leadership level and strong retention rates at the grassroots level. Waverley has created a positive culture which has seen 10 referees choose to move to the association since 2019. A sign that Waverley’s refereeing environment is attractive and envied by other associations in the state. Waverley has drastically increased elite referee representation from 2019, getting a number of panel referees to VJBL, Big V and NBL1. Despite the postponement of basketball, Waverley managed to train up 13 new referees, promote seven referees to A Grade and provide B Grade theory to 18 referees. The association has had 6 appointments to Australian Junior Championships since December 2019, with three medal appointments, including two gold medal appointments.
CHARLES RYAN AWARD – WHEELCHAIR ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
ISABEL MARTIN (KILSYTH)
Isabel Martin has been named our Charles Ryan Award winner as the Wheelchair Athlete of the Year. 2020 was a big year for Isabel, who was selected to represent Australia at the inaugural 3×3 Wheelchair Basketball World Championships, that had to be cancelled due to outbreak of Covid-19. A long time participant in Australian Gliders friendly tournaments and training camps, this step up to the 3×3 national team followed elevation to the Gliders international squad vying for selection to compete at the Tokyo Paralympics. She trained throughout lockdowns as a member of the Paralympics Australia long list, both at home via Zoom sessions and on court when exemptions were available. Isabel’s ongoing dedication to her development has also led to a scholarship with the Victorian Institute of Sport and she continues to be a perennial member of the Victorian Kevin Coombs Cup state team.
BASKETBALL ATHLETE OF THE YEAR WITH AN INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY
JAKE DE LA MOTTE
Jake De La Motte has been named our Basketball Athlete of the Year with an Intellectual Disability. Jake has led the way for our Victoria Ivor Burge Men’s team since 2014 and continues to impress every year he steps on court. including a starring role in the 2020 Australian Junior Championships held at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. His leadership and ability to pick his team mates up is equally as matched by his talents on court, making him a brilliant team mate and incredible all-around athlete. He shot 38 points in the grand final, with Victoria narrowly defeated by South Australia in a back-and-forth gold medal clash. His performances throughout the Australian Junior Championships in 2020, where he averaged 34 points a game, was rewarded with him winning the Ivor Burge Men’s Most Outstanding Player as the best player of the tournament. He is also a regular member of the Australian Boomerangs team and continues to excel at the elite levels of basketball both at the state and national level.
BASKETBALL VICTORIA AWARDS – 2020 WINNERS LIST
Basketball Association of the Year: Knox
Basketball Association of the Year – Runner Up: Frankston
Inclusive Basketball Association of the Year: Broadmeadows
Junior Program of the Year: Casey
Eddie Crouch Award – Referee Program of the Year: Waverley
Alan Hughes Medal – Male Player of the Year: Ben Simmons
Betty Watson Medal – Female Player of the Year: Ezi Magbegor
Junior Female Athlete of the Year: Jade Melbourne Traralgon/COE
Junior Male Athlete of the Year: Dyson Daniels Bendigo/COE
Technical Official of the Year: Daniel Battye (Knox VBRA)
Basketball Athlete of the Year with an Intellectual Disability: Jake De La Motte
Charles Ryan Award – Wheelchair Athlete of the Year: Isabel Martin (Kilsyth)
Basketball Victoria Media Award: Megan Hustwaite
Coach of the Year: Julia Walsh (Bulleen)
Jack Terrill Medal: Kevin Mclaren Warragul
Allan Ashe Memorial Award: Penny Hammond Lakes Entrance
Jack Carter Memorial Medal: Anita Ledger McKinnon
Moment of the Year: Josh Giddey – Championship winning buzzer-beater
SERVICE AWARD WINNERS – DIAMOND 50 YEARS SERVICE
Brian Lever (Geelong United Basketball)
Barry Hatherall (Hamilton Basketball Association)
Brian Brasher (Maffra Basketball Association)
Bill Mildenhall (Technical Officials Commission)
Douglas Rowley (Tribunal)
Peter Smith (Wyndham Basketball Association)
SERVICE AWARD WINNERS – GOLD 35 YEARS SERVICE
Darran Stones (Bellarine Peninsula Basketball Association)
Lorraine Sexton (Bulleen Templestowe Basketball Association)
Jeff White (Churchill Basketball Association)
Sandra MacNeil (Diamond Valley Basketball Association)
Cathy Cukier (Eltham Basketball Association)
Rebecca Sturgeon (Knox Basketball Association)
Eberhard Schulenberg (Melbourne East Basketball Association)
Tony Newsome (Southern Peninsula Basketball Association)
Vin Snell (Waverley Basketball Association)
Dianne Numa (Whittlesea City Basketball Association)
Geoff McIllvenna (Whittlesea City Basketball Association)
Ken Warren (Wyndham Basketball Association)
SERVICE AWARD WINNERS – SILVER 25 YEARS SERVICE
Aaron Lothian (Bellarine Peninsula Basketball Association)
Cecil Exum (Broadmeadows Basketball Association)
Val Hillberg (Bulleen Templestowe Basketball Association)
Robyn Howard (Dandenong Basketball Association)
Francis Harrison (Geelong United Basketball Association)
Geoff Jones (Knox Basketball Association)
Helen Steers (Knox Basketball Association)
Peter McCoy (Knox Basketball Association)
Susanne Wilkinson (Knox Basketball Association)
Michael Grantham (Macedon Ranges Basketball Association)
Rouhi Maher (Westgate Basketball Association)
Barbara Campbell (Whittlesea City Basketball Association)
Allison Scholey (Wyndham Basketball Association)
SERVICE AWARD WINNERS – BRONZE 15 YEARS SERVICE
Daniel Nancarrow (Bendigo Basketball Association)
Tayla Flint (Bendigo Basketball Association)
Derek Pangbourne (Bulleen Templestowe Basketball Association)
Glenn Hoole (Bulleen Templestowe Basketball Association)
Lisa Frost (Bulleen Templestowe Basketball Association)
Mark Jeffers (Camberwell Dragons Basketball Association)
Prue Ainsworth (Camberwell Dragons Basketball Association)
Rachel Bett (Camberwell Dragons Basketball Association)
Ashley Szalek (Casey Basketball Association)
Jodie-Ann Krug (Casey Basketball Association)
Megan Rouse (Collingwood Basketball Association)
Roshan Silva (Cragieburn Eagles Basketball Association)
Krystal Skinner (Geelong United Basketball Association)
Kylee Azarnikow (Keilor Basketball Association)
Jessica Anderson (Knox Basketball Association)
Lisa Shield (Melbourne East Basketball Association)
Paul Flynn (Melbourne East Basketball Association)