Basketball Australia is delighted to announce four inductees to the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame to be celebrated at the FIBA World Cup Qualifying Melbourne game, on Friday 1st of July at John Cain Arena.
The Class of 2022 will honour four names who have each been influential contributors to Australian basketball on the international stage: Chris Anstey OLY, Michelle Brogan OLY, Dr Peter Harcourt and Penny Taylor OLY.
CHRIS ANSTEY OLY
Featuring in the Australian Boomers’ lineup throughout the late nineties and early 2000s and a prominent name across the NBL, Chris Anstey’s 16-year playing career has taken him across the globe.
A dual Olympian (2000 & 2008) and member of the Boomers’ 1998 World Cup team, Anstey was a part of the national team that achieved the Boomers’ highest Olympic Games result prior to Tokyo 2020, finishing fourth at the Sydney games in 2000. He also featured at the 1997 FIBA 22 and Under World Championships in Melbourne, where Australia achieved gold and he was named series MVP. Anstey was the 18th overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft he played 155 games for the Dallas Mavericks and Chicago Bulls.
On the national stage, Anstey is a three-time NBL Champion (1996, 2006 & 2008) and was named both the NBL MVP and NBL Grand Final MVP in two of his title-winning years, 2006 and 2008. Selected for the All-NBL First Team five times, including four consecutive years from 2006-2010, Anstey dominated the league across the late 2000s period. He was 2008’s NBL Best Defensive Player, back-to-back leading rebounder (2008-2009) and the leading shot blocker across four consecutive seasons (2006-2009). Anstey also had a stint playing in the Russian league between 2002 and 2005 and was named in the Euro League All-Star Team two years in a row (2004 and 2005).
Anstey said, “I didn’t grow up loving basketball. I didn’t know it existed. I found it when I was 17 years old. Des Middleton and his Melbourne Tigers Under 18 team not only welcomed me but taught me lessons I still carry with me, on and off the court.
“When I was young, I never believed I owed the sport of basketball anything- I was a passenger and could jump off whenever I liked. I never jumped, and I owe basketball, and the people it bought into my life so much.
“It’s an incredible honour to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and to be recognised as somebody who contributed as much as I possibly could to the sport that continues to teach me so much. Thank you to Des Middleton, Al Westover and Brian Goorjian for everything you taught me, to all my teammates for including me in your journeys, and to everyone I’ve coached and coached with for allowing me to share with you the lessons of those who have helped so many.”
MICHELLE BROGAN OLY
Throughout the majority of the nineties and 2000s, Michelle Brogan was at the top of her playing career, notching up 205 senior national team games over 16 years as an Opal. Brogan was a key part of the legacy that the Australian women’s basketball team started to build throughout that era.
Two Olympic Games (1996 & 2000) and three FIBA World Championship appearances (1994, 1998 & 2002), Brogan found the podium at all but one of those international events, including the first-ever Australian basketball Olympic medal, bronze at the 1996 Olympics. The Opals went on to win silver at the 2000 Games in front of a home crowd.
A former Opals captain, Brogan led the national team at the 2001 East Asia Games.
Back on Australian soil, Brogan is an incredible four-time consecutive WNBL Champion, winning the title from 1994-1997 with two different teams, the Adelaide Lightning and Sydney Uni Flames. She was awarded the WNBL 1991 Rookie of the Year and went on to make the WNBL All-Star Five team twice, in 1992 and 1998. She was named the 1998 WNBL season MVP and five years later was awarded WNBL Life Membership (2003).
Capitalising on her dominant form locally, Brogan went on to debut in the WNBA, where she set a record of seven steals in one game while playing for Phoenix Mercury in 1998. Throughout this successful period, she was twice named Basketball Australia’s ‘International Player of the Year’ (1995 & 1997).
Brogan said, “to just be considered is humbling enough but telling me that I’m actually being inducted… I have no words to describe the bewilderment of my feelings right now. It’s definitely a sense of pride and an absolute honour to receive this induction.”
DR PETER HARCOURT
A career that has spanned many sporting codes and many decades, Dr Peter Harcourt’s contribution to basketball throughout the eighties, nineties and 2000s will be celebrated as he is inducted to the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame. Between 1984-2010, Harcourt was the team doctor for the Opals, Boomers and junior teams spanning 447 games, travelling to all international competitions including FIBA World Championships and Olympic Games.
As the Basketball Australia Chief Medical Officer Harcourt was monumental in establishing the Return to Play and Concussion Management policies.
Harcourt said, “being a part of the basketball family has been a wonderful and enriching experience. I am very grateful for the amazing opportunities that came my way from looking after the Opals, Boomers and junior teams. To be honoured in such a way, especially alongside such great players, is very humbling.”
PENNY TAYLOR OLY
A staple of the Australian Opals’ early 2000s success, Penny Taylor’s achievements across her 105 senior national games helped put Australian women’s basketball on the map. A three-time Olympian (2004, 2008 & 2016) and appearing at three FIBA World Cups (2002, 2006 & 2014), Taylor was a feature of an Opals team that claimed back-to-back Olympic silver medals (2004 & 2008) and FIBA World Cup glory, winning gold in Brazil in 2006. She was named the FIBA World Cup MVP in that same gold medal year. Taylor was captain of the Opals for the 2014 FIBA World Cup campaign and led the team to bronze.
One of Australia’s biggest and most successful international exports, Taylor is a three-time WNBA Champion with Phoenix Mercury (2007, 2009 & 2014). Her third championship under the realm of former Opals’ teammate and Phoenix coach (now New York Liberty and Opals coach), Sandy Brondello. A triple WNBA All-Star (2002, 2007 & 2011), Taylor also adds the All-WNBA First Team (2007) and Second Team (2011) to her list of accolades.
Locally, Taylor started her playing career in the WNBL, where she quickly achieved the WNBL Championship with the AIS and became a dual WNBL MVP across the 2000/01 and 2002/03 seasons. She also returned to the WNBL in the 2014/15 season where she was named in her third WNBL All-Star Five team.
Last week, Taylor was inducted to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in the United States.
The Australian Basketball Hall of Fame event will also celebrate Andrew Gaze’s elevation to Legend status.