Exemplifying the Australian trademarks of passion, determination and performing your role within a team, Brad Dalton came from a multi-sport background to carve out a successful basketball career.
A state swimming champion and a Surf Lifesaver, Dalton also tried his hand at AFL and rugby before showing promise with a move to basketball that was aided by a growth spurt in his teenage years.
Dalton played for New South Wales at Under-20’s level and quickly went on to represent his country on a European tour with the Australian Under-20’s team the following year.
He was a part of the inaugural NBL season in 1979, beginning a 13-year career that saw him play for the City of Sydney Astronauts, West Adelaide Bearcats, Sydney Supersonics, Geelong Cats and Sydney Kings.
With West Adelaide, he won the 1982 NBL Championship and three South Australian state titles while he also won the NBL minor Championship in 1983 and 1984 as well as VBA titles in 1984 and 1986 with Geelong.
Playing 290 NBL games, Dalton shot 52% from the field over his career and finished in the top ten for the Sydney Kings in blocks, offensive rebounds and total rebounds.
Following a taste of national junior representation in 1978, Dalton earned a spot with the senior team in 1981 and the following year saw him help Australia qualify for the World Championships at the Oceania Championships.
Developing his game with tours to the USA and China, Dalton was then selected to the 1982 World Championship team and his presence in the paint and physical play was a key factor in the Boomers’ fifth-placed finish which remains their equal-best performance at a World Championships.
Dalton was named to the Rest of the World team at the conclusion of the tournament and backed up by representing Australia at the 1984 Olympics Games in Los Angeles.
There, the 202cm power forward averaged seven points and 4.3 rebounds per game as the Boomers finished seventh- a record for that time.
Playing alongside his brother, Mark, Dalton’s sister Karen also represented the Opals at the 1984 Olympics, marking the first time that three siblings played for Australia at an Olympics in any sport.
He went on to consistently pull on the green and gold in the ensuing years, winning a gold medal at the inaugural Australia Games in 1985, touring the USA and USSR, competing at the 1986 World Championships as well as the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
An elder statesman of the Boomers by 1988, Dalton helped ingratiate the likes of Mark Bradtke and Luc Longley into the side as Australia claimed their equal-best finish at an Olympics with a loss to the USA in the bronze medal playoff.
Retiring in 1991, Dalton was not lost to the sport as he continued a career in coaching that had begun in 1984 with the Geelong Under-20’s and he has gone on to greatly assist junior player development at school, ABA and association level.
In addition to this honour, Dalton was inducted into the Basketball NSW Hall of Fame in 2013.