Hall of Fame Class: 2016
Role: Coach, Contributor
One page could never fully summarise the impact that Ken Watson had on the sport of basketball in Australia. He is one of the ‘founding fathers’, originally learning his craft alongside men such as Ivor Burge in the days before World War II.
Watson’s DNA is baked into the very structure of the club formerly known as Melbourne Church and now known as the Melbourne Tigers. For 60 years Watson either played, coached or ran the club as it became the most famous and powerful association in Australia. In a similar fashion to his respected colleague Bob Staunton in Sydney, Watson ran Victorian basketball from his kitchen table in Arnold Street, Carlton (with wife and future Hall of Fame Legend Betty providing a continuous hospitality and support).
As well as a successful career as a National Player, Ken was the coach of the Original Boomers who competed at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, a position he took up again in 1968. He was a guiding hand behind the development of the Gaze dynasty which continues its positive influence on the sport to this day.
Following Ken’s death in 2008, Lindsay Gaze put his friend into proper perspective: “Ken is really the principal person responsible for the development of the game in Australia.” A historical wrong is righted this year as we proudly enshrine Ken Watson as a Coach and Contributor into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame.