Michael Wrublewski OAM (dec)

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Mike Wrublewski was a revolutionary figure in the selling of basketball to Australian sports fans. As one of the first private owners of a sporting team in Australia, Mike had a vision: to make basketball ‘everyone’s second most favourite sport.’ It would take the merger of his Sydney Supersonics and the West Sydney Westars, resulting in the formation of the Sydney Kings, to make that vision a reality.

The mixture of high-quality sport, family entertainment and corporate interest brought people flooding into Kings home games and the ‘Sold Out’ signs became part of the landscape. The Wrublewski empire soon spread to include a WNBL team (the Sydney Flames), a British Basketball League team (the Birmingham Bullets) and special events such as the 1994 FIBA World Championship for Women (the finals held in front of a raucous crowd at the Sydney Entertainment Centre) and the 1998 IWBF Gold Cup (the World Championships for wheelchair basketball).

By the year 2000, Mike had decided that the time had come to step away from active involvement with the sport. He sold the Kings to a new consortium and became a regular fan. No-one was happier when Sydney won three successive NBL titles between 2003 and 2005. Sadly, on 29th August 2009 Michael Wrublewski lost his last fight, against pancreatic cancer. His accomplishments as an owner and visionary make him a worthy entrant into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame.