Recognising the outstanding contribution to the NBL and the sport of basketball in Australia, three players will be inducted into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame on Tuesday 27 February at Crown Palladium at the 2018 NBL Gala Dinner.
Tony Ronaldson, Glen Saville and Brett Maher will be honoured for their achievements on an awards night that will bring together basketball greats from past and present.
Inductees to the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame are selected by the Honours and Awards Committee of Basketball Australia.
The Committee is led by legendary basketball coach and historian, Dr Adrian Hurley OAM, and includes such basketball royalty as Rachel Sporn, Barry Barnes, Bob Elphinston, Jenny Cheeseman and Lindsay Gaze as well as WNBL Commission member Lesley Podesta.
Nominations are invited from the basketball community on an annual basis and assessed against elite criteria to ensure that membership of the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame truly represents the best and most influential of our sport.
Inductees into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame are recognised as being outstanding achievers in one or more of the following categories: Basketball Australia, NBL or WNBL. Ronaldson, Saville and Maher are recognised for their achievements in the NBL and Basketball Australia categories.
“Induction into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame is one of the highest honours in our sport,” said Anthony Moore, Basketball Australia CEO.
“Tony, Brett and Glen’s legacies will now be preserved forever and continue to inspire future generations. The NBL Gala Dinner will provide a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the careers of all three athletes who contributed greatly to the league as well as the sport of basketball overall.”
“Tony, Brett and Glen and all very deserving inductees into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame,” said Jeremy Loeliger, NBL CEO.
“All three left a great legacy for the NBL which is celebrating its 40th season and is as strong as it’s ever been thanks to the contributions of champions like these.”
The all-time leader for games played in the NBL, Tony Ronaldson hit the court 665 times over a career that spanned 1990-2010.
Debuting with the Eastside Spectres, Ronaldson went on to represent the South East Melbourne Magic, Victoria Titans, Perth Wildcats and New Zealand Breakers with success following him everywhere he went as he tallied 430 victories (first all-time) at a 64.7% success rate.
Featuring in the NBL playoffs in a record 18 seasons, he only missed the post-season in his last year to also hold the record for most finals games played.
Ronaldson went on to reach the Grand Final on seven occasions and claimed two Championships in 1992 and 1996 with the Magic, defeating the Melbourne Tigers in both games.
With 18.77 points per game, “The Bear” recorded a total of 12,486 points (fifth most in NBL history) while also pulling down 5.2 rebounds per game to finish sixth all-time in defensive boards with 2,642 overall.
Ronaldson represented Australia with distinction across two World Championships (1994 & 1998), two Olympic Games (1996 & 2004) and at the Commonwealth Games in 2006 in Melbourne.
Glen Saville played a majority of his 563 NBL games with the Wollongong Hawks across two stints from 1995-2007 and 2008-2013 while also representing the Sydney Kings from 2007-2008.
Quickly becoming a fan favourite due to his athletic and entertaining style of play, he earned the club MVP in 2000 and 2001 before claiming a three-peat from 2003-05.
Named captain in 2000, he guided the Hawks to the NBL Championship the following year while also winning the Grand Final MVP and his exemplary performance at both ends of the court was proven in 2003 when he won the NBL Defensive Player of the Year award.
A career-best season in 2004/05 saw Saville record 17.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game as he took Wollongong to the Grand Final again and he was then a crucial factor in the Kings’ Grand Final push in 2007/08 when he finished fifth in the league for steals and tenth for rebounds.
Tallying four triple-doubles in his career, Saville is one of only five Wollongong players to have his jersey retired and he remains the club’s record holder for games played.
Saville represented Australia at the Olympic Games in 2004 and 2008 and was a member of the successful 2006 Commonwealth Games team when Australia won the gold medal, advancing through the tournament undefeated
A favourite son of the city of Adelaide, Brett Maher’s signature now sits permanently on the floor of Titanium Security Arena as a reminder of his 18 seasons as a leader of the Adelaide 36ers.
Joining them in 1992, it did not take long for Maher to be regarded as one of the league’s best guards and in 1994, he helped them reach their first Grand Final in eight seasons.
He took over captaining duties in 1997, a position he would hold until his retirement 13 seasons later after he had claimed six club MVP’s from 1997-98, 2002-03 and 2006-07.
Maher also helped them claim their first Championship in over a decade in 1998, sweeping South East Melbourne Magic in two games and the club had their most successful period with Maher at the helm, winning the title again in 1999 and 2002 when he was named the Grand Final MVP as well.
He is one of only three players to win the Grand Final MVP twice and one of only four 36ers players to have their jersey retired.
At the end of his career in 2009, Maher finished as Adelaide’s all-time leader in games played (525), points (8,941), assists (2,267), steals (703), field goals made (3,140) and three-pointers made (1,162).
Brett Maher was a part of three Olympic Games campaigns for Australia in1996, 2000 and 2004. He played over 100 games in the green and gold, helping them to an equal-best fourth-placed result at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Maher had the honour of leading the national team as captain at the 2001 Goodwill Games in Brisbane.
The 2018 NBL Gala Dinner will be held from 7.30pm AEDT on February 27 and you can watch the event here.