When you look at the WNBL record book, the name Julie Nykiel jumps out at you straight away. Despite finishing her career in 1990, Julie still has the second highest points per game average as well as the equal fifth highest field goal percentage in the history of the league. Her single-game record of 53 points, set in 1982, stood for over 20 years and was achieved without the benefit of a three-point line. She also holds the record for the most shots attempted in a game (40, in 1986.) All this was done for a Noarlunga Tigers (now Southern Tigers) team that only reached the Grand Final once, suffering a heart-breaking 73-71 loss to Coburg in 1985.
Two years stood out as her best, 1984 and 1988, when Julie was named the league’s Most Valuable Player.
Nykiel was just as devastating a scorer when wearing Australian colours. She played at three World Championships (1979, 1983 and 1986) and was a two-time Olympian (1984, 1988).
A charming and popular figure, Julie was named in the WNBL’s 25th Anniversary Team in 2004, the year she also received a Life Membership of the WNBL. Julie Nykiel will now receive the crowning achievement of her career as she becomes a member of the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame.