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Annie Hall, and Ian tooTweet
THE late, great Ian Davies and fellow Olympics star Annie LaFleur’s inductions into the NSW Basketball Hall of Fame only further add to its credibility.
Davies was the first great Aussie superstar recruited from college in the US into the NBL and who changed the game, winning an NBL championship for Launceston before a distinguished career in Newcastle, Geelong and with the Sydney Kings.
LaFleur is a three-time WNBL champion with Sydney, was on the Opals’ sensational Oz94 team which went within a whisker of medalling at the FIBA World Championship in Australia, and on the 1998 team which won our first World Series medal.
(Australia’s first international medal was its Bronze at the 1996 Games in Atlanta, also, obviously, our first Olympic medal, contrary to Basketball NSW’s assertion Annie’s 2000 Silver in Sydney was the Opals’ first Olympic medal.)
With 240 WNBL games and 127 senior Opals games, LaFleur (above) helped establish both the Flames and the Opals as powers.
For good measure, LaFleur also played in the WNBA with Minnesota Lynx in 1999 and Washington Mystics in the 2001–2003 seasons.
Following in the footsteps of Eddie Palubinskas, Davies led the 1980 Moscow Olympics’ scoring, averaging 29.3ppg, playing 81 internationals for the Boomers.
An NBL and now BA Hall of Famer in 2001, Davies played 252 NBL games and was one of the first true Australian marquee players who drew fans to games to watch him in action live.
Also on Basketball NSW’s list of inductees was Debbie Cadee (nee Lee), a superstar at Bankstown Bruins and for NSW as a lightning quick guard in the mould of Michele Timms.
Coach Patrick Hunt – soon to be running the NBL Combine in Melbourne – also was inducted, with Paul Beale, Lisa Edmonds, Terese Kennedy, Bruce Leonard, the late Tom Penrose and the late Gordon Young.
(Perhaps it is time someone reminded SA administators that Basketball SA has a Hall of Fame too, inactive for at least the past 13 years!)