Vale Geoff Heskett

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Basketball Australia would like to extend its deepest condolences to the family and friends of 1956 Olympic basketballer, Geoff Heskett, who passed away peacefully on Sunday (5th February), aged 93yrs.

Words courtesy of Basketball Victoria:

Heskett is a Victorian Wall of Fame member who was acknowledged for his dedication and passion for the sport. During his basketball career he achieved so much, here is an overview:

He was a key member and vice-captain of the Australian Olympic team in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics (averaging five points a game).

  • Named in the Victorian team from 1949-1955
  • Captain of the Victorian team – 1954
  • Won the Alan Hughes Medal (best Victorian Male Athlete) twice, in 1953 and ’54
  • Named MVP of the Melbourne League – 1954 and ’55
  • Named as an All Australian, five years running from 1951-55
  • Was a torch bearer for the lead up to the 2000 Sydney Olympic games

From the age of 10 (in 1939), Heskett enrolled at the Y.M.C.A. where he was introduced to basketball. He spent many happy years at the ‘Y’ developing his basketball skills.

He went to Coburg High School, but basketball was not offered as a sport at the time. athletics, football and tennis were, so he concentrated on tennis (he was also quite good at tennis – playing at the Moreland and Brunswick Tennis Clubs against Wimbledon winners Frank Sedgman and Ashley Cooper. Since retiring from competitive tennis, he also coached for about 40 years).

Heskett started his competitive basketball at the Coburg C.E.B.S. (Church of England Boys’ Society) club. Eventually he graduated to the Y.M.C.A First Team, which played in the Victorian Championships. The Y.M.C.A. team was the first team to play basketball outside of Australia, and they won all but two of their many games against ‘County Teams’ and in Wellington they defeated the New Zealand National Team. Included in that team were two other Coburg High School students and Basketball Victoria Life Members Maurice and Ian Pawsey.

Vale Geoff, and thank you for all you have done for the sport that you loved.