Mackinnon wins Gaze Medal
Basketball Australia is pleased to announce that Australia Post Boomer Sam Mackinnon has been awarded the 2006 Gaze Medal for International Player of the Year.
The award caps off an unprecedented year for the Brisbane-based forward, after he was named the 2006 Philips National Basketball League (NBL) Championship Defensive Player of the Year and the leagues top honour, the Most Valuable Player award.
He was also awarded the Larry Sengstock Medal for the best player of the 2006/07 Grand Final series, where his Brisbane Bullets defeated the Melbourne Tigers 3 games to 1.
“I love playing for Australia and to be recognised by your peers is truly an honour,” Mackinnon said.
“I was also lucky enough to play with Andrew Gaze so receiving this award is definitely one of the highlights of my career.
“We obviously won the (NBL) championship but individually I have won quite a few things this season and it definitely wasn’t something I was expecting to do at the start of the year.
“It’s been a good year.”
Mackinnon, 30, was an integral part of the Australia Post Boomers 2006 campaign, proving unstoppable in the Boomers Gold Medal win at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in March 2006.
He continued that form against the New Zealand Tall Blacks in the Resi Mortgage Test Series (the Al Ramsay Cup) however he missed the final two games due to the birth of his second child.
Mackinnon rejoined the team for the Boris Stankovic Cup in China in August, having a consistent tournament highlighted by a 12 point, 8 rebound performance in the Boomers' 77–71 victory over heavily favoured France.
The 197cm Victorian was crucial to the Boomers' positive start at the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan, contributing 13 points and 6 rebounds in the Boomers' opening game 83-77 victory over Brazil.
He made his international debut in at the 1996 Olympic Games and has since represented Australia at the 2000 (Sydney) Olympics and 1998 (Athens) and 2006 (Japan) World Championships.
Mackinnon first played in the NBL in 1994 with the South East Melbourne Magic, winning the Rookie of the Year award before claiming his first NBL Championship in 1996 with the Magic.
Mackinnon becomes the eleventh player to win the award in its 19-year history.
The Gaze Medal is named after one of Australia’s greatest sporting families, the Gazes, the father and son combination of Lindsay and Andrew that between them attended nine Olympics Games and eight World Championships.
The Medal is voted on by all members of the senior national team after each game, with the player receiving the most votes being awarded the Gaze Medal.
Previous Gaze Medal Winners
1988 Phil Smyth
1989 Luc Longley
1990 Andrew Gaze
1991 Andrew Vlahov
1992 Mark Bradtke
1993 Andrew Vlahov
1994 Andrew Gaze
1995 Andrew Gaze
1996 Andrew Gaze
1997 Shane Heal
1998 Andrew Gaze
1999 Mark Bradtke
2000 Andrew Gaze
2001 Brett Maher
2002 Chris Anstey
2003 Matthew Nielsen
2004 Shane Heal
2005 CJ Bruton
2006 Sam Mackinnon