Players such as Pat Mickan forged the Opals reputation as an international powerhouse in women’s basketball. For more than a decade, Mickan was a staple in the Australian Opals team, competing in the first of three World Championships in South Korea in 1979.
From there, Mickan would play 158 games in the green and gold, including the first Opals team to compete at the Olympic Games in 1984 in Los Angeles, where the team placed 5th. In the 1988 Seoul Olympics, Mickan was part of the Opals team who beat the Soviet Union – a team who had never previously lost a game in Olympic basketball. Mickan also became a pioneer in the national competition, playing 158 WNBL games between 1981 and 1989 with the West Adelaide Bearcats and North Adelaide Rockets.
But it is her contribution to the identity of the Australian Opals and the culture of success the team enjoys today for which she will be most remembered, and makes her entirely deserving of a place as a Player in the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame.