Bill Wyatt

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Bill Wyatt was a vital part of the Melbourne Church (later Melbourne Tigers) dynasty that has kept that famous old club at the forefront of Australian basketball. Learning the art of the shuffle offense at the feet of legendary coach Ken Watson, Wyatt formed a magical back-court combination with Lindsay Gaze that saw Church win numerous Victorian and Australian titles. Their career together began in 1958, with the opening of the Albert Park Stadium, which soon became the most important basketball facility in the country.

In 1960, Wyatt was a member of the first Boomers team to attempt to qualify for the Olympic basketball tournament. Unfortunately, they were eliminated after 4 games of the pre-Olympic qualifying tournament. Wyatt’s next two trips to the Olympic Games (1964 and 1972) produced more success: not only did the Boomers qualify for the Olympic tournament, but they actually won games. On both occasions the Boomers finished 9th.

Wyatt was more successful back home: he played a crucial role in Tigers teams that won seven Victorian State Championships, numerous Australian Club Championships and all seven titles during the existence of the South Eastern Conference (a precursor to the NBL). For all of these on-court achievements and for his ability to control a game, Bill Wyatt is more than worthy of enshrinement into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame.