The Queensland Basketball Hall of Fame (QBHF) began in 2014 to recognise and honour the exceptional performances, achievements and contributions by individuals to the sport of basketball. Inductees are selected by the Honors and Awards Committee (HAC) and reflect the rich history of our Queensland basketball community.
Introducing the 2018 Queensland Basketball Hall of Fame Inductees:
Bevan Aitken (pictured left) commenced refereeing as a junior referee in Townsville in 1969. He was one of several junior referees including Graham Lebbern, who were recruited to refereeing and taught by Harry Dean, Harry Bowmaker, Colin Coombes and Phil Caldwell.
By 1973 Bevan had moved with his family to Brisbane and continued with his refereeing within the Brisbane Basketball Referees’ Association, being guided by referees such as Bob Lambourn and Frank Stokes. In 1974 Bevan represented Metropolitan Zone as a referee at the Queensland Junior Men’s State Championships which were held in Bundaberg. At that state championship Bevan was awarded his State Badge. Thus, at the age of 18-years, Bevan became Queensland’s youngest State Badge referee.
Bevan was appointed to the 1974 Under 16 Boys’ Australian Championship which was conducted in Ballarat, a championship at which Bevan was appointed to referee the final. This was the first of very many Australian championships and finals that Bevan would referee in a glittering refereeing career.
Bevan was elevated to Australian Badge referee in 1978 and in 1986 was appointed as a FIBA (International) referee. In 1979 Bevan was one of the referees participating in the inaugural year of the National Basketball League (NBL). Bevan continued refereeing in the NBL until his retirement from the league in the mid-1990s. During his NBL refereeing career Bevan officiated more than 40 games and was an excellent role model for Queensland’s younger brigade of referees. Perhaps the highlight of Bevan’s refereeing career was his appointment to referee the Australia v Russia match at Boondall in 1987, a game in which he partnered Russian official Michael Davidoff.
Bevan provided outstanding service to Queensland basketball through his referee administration and education work during the 1980s and 1990s. He was Queensland state referee coach in 1989 and 1990, Queensland state rules interpreter in 1990 and 1991, and in 1993 he was appointed Queensland Basketball Incorporated referee commissioner. Bevan’s service to Queensland basketball referee administration and education continued for more than 15 years and was of the highest standard across many leagues including AAABL, QBL, Southern Cross and junior and senior State Championships.
During his term as Queensland state rules interpreter Bevan established the state basketball referee coaches’ network. Because of this formalised network local referees’ groups across the state became more involved, received general assistance and assistance specific to their needs, for the benefit of basketball across the state.
Bevan was an exceptional referee educator and referee coach. For many years he served on the Queensland referees’ standards committee and his service as a referee coach within the NBL from 1994 until 2003 was described as frank and honest and undoubtedly benefited many referees … and, of course, benefited the game of basketball.
Bevan’s most significant gift to basketball may have been the development and production of referee education videotapes. These videotapes used game vision taken from NBL and other high-level games, showcasing elements and situations within the games for referees and referee coaches to view, to analyse and to offer opinions on. These videotapes were used across Queensland, nationally and internationally. They were forerunners to the clips used by today’s referees and referee coaches to review games and officials’ performances.
Bevan’s death in March 2007 at the age of 51 years took from his family a loving and devoted husband and father, and took from the basketball community an exceptional friend, referee, referee educator and administrator. In his lived life and in his life cut short, in many ways Bevan Aitken reflects an important snapshot of the history of basketball refereeing in Queensland and he is a most worthy nominee for the Queensland Basketball Hall of Fame.
Brian Kerle (Coach)
From a playing career which commenced in “C” Grade club basketball with Oxley Club in 1965, Brian Kerle played with the Lang Park Club in the Brisbane “A” grade competition and from there he was recruited by Melbourne’s St. Kilda Club in June 1967. Five years later Brian was representing Australia at the Munich Olympic Games.
Brianplayed more than 100 games for Australia including at the Munich 1972 Olympics and the 1970 and 1974 World Championships. Brian was one of those players whose playing career merged smoothly into his coaching career, and it was as a coach that Brian has made his greatest impact on basketball and its people.
Brian’s senior coaching debut was with St. Kilda in 1977. He coached numerous Victorian State teams before winning the first two NBL titles in 1979-80 with St. Kilda.
He passed over a near-certain third title in 1981 when he took St. Kilda to a fifth place at the World Club titles.
Brian was Assistant-coach of Australian Olympic from 1986, including 1986 World Championships in Spain, the Olympic qualifying tournament in New Zealand and the pre-Olympic tour of Europe. He returned home to Brisbane in 1984, and has coached the Bullets to four consecutive grand finals winning the title in 1985 and 1987.
He was NBL Coach of the year 1984. Brian has coached 456 NBL games, and has won 282 for a win:loss ratio of 61.8%. He was the only person to have coached in all of the first ten years of the NBL. Since leaving the competitive basketball scene, Brian has continued coaching in schools, clubs and coaching clinics throughout Queensland. He also worked at Sport and Recreation Queensland where he ran various sports programs including Thanks Ref and Deadly Sports.
Brian now combines the skills he learnt as a player, coach and business manager to developing excellence on and off the court through Brian Kerle Basketball Academy.
Bruce Fitzgerald (Player)
Bruce Fitzgerald learnt his basketball at Hendra State High School under respected coach and history teacher, Barbara Kaus. His game was polished by the late, great coach Vince Hickey (QBHF 2014).
Bruce represented Metropolitan Zone as a junior under 16 in 1969, and under 18 in 1970 and 1971. He gained selection in Queensland under-age teams in 1969 and 1971. He represented Brisbane in state senior men’s championships in 1971, 1975, 1978 and 1979, and gained selection in the Queensland senior men’s team which contested the 1976 Australian championships. At this championship Bruce was selected in the Australian squad for the 1976 Olympic Games but did not make the final team.
In 1979, Bruce was selected as captain of the inaugural Brisbane Bullets NBL team which finished with a winning record in that year. He again captained the Bullets in 1980 and was selected for a third year with the Bullets in 1981. Bruce married Dianne Bolton and they have two children, Kate and John, both of whom played basketball. John played in the QBL for several years.
On taking up residence on the Sunshine Coast, Bruce Fitzgerald continued playing for several years, imparting his expertise to the game. Bruce is a secondary school teacher and has been heavily involved in the creation and conduct of interschool basketball competitions. He has continued contributing his vast basketball knowledge, organising competitions and coaching at Sunshine Coast secondary schools for more than 30-years.
Ellen (Richardson) Coates (Player)
Ellen Richardson (Coates) was one of the first generation of women’s basketballers in Queensland. With her sister Annette, Ellen first played basketball in 1955 at Davies Park in West End with the Shamrocks Club in the Brisbane Women’s Basket Ball Association.
It is clear that Ellen was an outstanding player in an outstanding team, as Shamrocks won ten consecutive “A” grade premierships. When the Brisbane Women’s Amateur Basketball Association was formed in 1960 as an affiliate of QABA, in1962 the Shamrocks Club affiliated and became associate members of North West District’s men’s Club which had been formed by the amalgamation of various teams.
The amalgamation was strengthened by several marriages within the new club. The club was headed by Phillip and Cilva Russell (BQ Life Member and member of the QBHF). Ellen married Don Coates (BQ Life Member and former state representative player), and her sister married another club player, Jim Spencer.
From the outset, Ellen became a Brisbane representative player in Queensland state championships from 1954 to 1963, captaining the team and winning several state championships. Ellen was selected to represent Queensland at the Australian Women’s Basketball Championships from 1957 to 1961 and she captained the Queensland team at these championships in 1960 and 1961,
In addition to her playing, Ellen became involved in the administration of the sport including becoming the fixture secretary of the Brisbane Amateur basketball Association which also involved a lot of refereeing as there was a dearth of referees. Ellen (Richardson) Coates is an outstanding beacon in the development of Women’s Basketball in Queensland and is a most worthy nominee for the Queensland Basketball Hall of Fame.
Frank Stokes (Technical Official)
Frank Stokes commenced refereeing in Rockhampton in the years before 1960 and continued refereeing when transferred to Charters Towers in 1960. While he was teaching in Charters Towers Frank combined his refereeing with his playing basketball at Townsville and Ayr as well as at Charters Tower.
On his transfer to Brisbane in 1964 Frank continued with his playing and refereeing. Brisbane Basketball Referees’ Association (BBRA) was inaugurated at the Plaza Theatre at Bardon on 27 October 1965. Together with several people prominent in the history of basketball referee education, Frank Stokes was present at that meeting and was elected as inaugural BBRA secretary.
Frank was an active member of the BBRA executive for 17-years, serving as secretary for seven years, president for one year and on the executive for nine years. For many years Frank served as the BBRA referee coach combining his work as referee coach with his own refereeing and his work as a BBRA executive member. In addition to his refereeing at many state championships over many years, Frank served on the Queensland Basketball Referees’ Association (QBRA) appointments board during the 1970s and 1980s and in this capacity served as referee commissioner and referee coach at several Queensland state championships.
During the 1970s and 1980s Frank participated as a referee at several Australian championships, and also served as an Australian championships referee commissioner. Between 1983 and 1988 Frank was QBRA State Referee Coach and in this capacity attended and contributed to a number of National referee education forums, including forums held in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. Frank served as Queensland State League referee commissioner during the late 1980s and early 1990s, spending many weekends travelling to provincial centres to review the performances of referees across the state and to offer advice.
In addition Frank also served as Queensland Referee Supervisor for the National Basketball League from the early days of the League until 1994. For many years Frank Stokes travelled to small country associations across Queensland attending weekend basketball carnivals as a referee and as a referee coach, thus enhancing the understanding of refereeing across wide areas of the state. Frank Stokes was appointed as a life member of both BBRA and QBRA for his exceptional services to basketball and to basketball refereeing.
In 2016 Brisbane Basketball Referees’ Association celebrated more than 50-years of continuous, truly excellent service to basketball through the vehicles of refereeing and referee education and guidance. That BBRA has been able to continue to serve basketball so very well for these past more than 50-years is a testament to the leadership of BBRA during these more than 50-years, and to the worthiness of its cause. Frank Stokes was to the forefront of that.
The influence of Frank’s outstanding contribution as a role model for younger referee coaches continues today, many years after the event. Frank is an exceptional candidate for the Queensland Basketball Hall of Fame.
Fred Edwards (Player)
When the Townsville Men’s Amateur Basketball Association transferred to Corcoran Park courts from McInnis’s ant bed tennis courts in Charters Towers Road in 1952, Fred Edwards was one of the players who moved with the game.
Fred was playing basketball for Bouncer’s Club in 1952 when Charlie Doyle (QBHF 2016) was posted there in the Royal Australian Air Force. Fred represented Townsville and North Queensland in basketball from 1954 through to 1970, a period of 17 years. During that time he was selected tor Queensland on seven occasions: 1954, 1955, 1958, 1959 as captain/coach, 1960 and 1961 as captain and in 1967. There is no doubt that Fred would also have been selected in the intervening years between 1954 and 1967 but for the costs of travel from Townsville to the championships.
In 1961 Fred was a member of the All States Australian basketball team which was led by captain – coach Lindsay Gaze and which completed an undefeated tour of new Zealand. Fred’s playing career in senior basketball from 1952 until 1970. He then gave his time to coaching junior club teams in Townsville.
In those early days of basketball in Townsville, players were asked to fulfil administrative duties in their clubs. Fred was secretary / treasurer of his growing club, Bouncers, for several years during the 1960s. Fred was an outstanding athlete and sportsman. He played “A” grade cricket in Townsville and represented Townsville and North Queensland in cricket, and represented Townsville and Queensland in Hockey.
Fred's influence on basketball has continued through the generations with all six of his children, three girls and three boys, playing the sport. Fred’s eldest son, Shane, represented Townsville, North Queensland and Queensland in junior age competitions and played for the Brisbane Bullets in the NBL.
His youngest son, Glen, represented Townsville and North Queensland as a player and played QBL for Burdekin in the Queensland State League. His second son, Craig, has coached junior club basketball for some years in Brisbane.
Jenny Whittle (Player)
Jenny Whittle is an outstanding example of raw talent in Queensland basketball being able to reach the pinnacle of our sport. Jenny was a late comer to basketball but her rise to national attention was spectacular. Shortly after playing in the under 18 nationals she was selected to play in the 1993 World Championship for Junior women where she won a gold medal.
The following year she was chosen for the Opals in the 1994 World Championship for women where Australia’s young team finished fourth. Jenny was to play for the Opals for the next decade.
At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics the Opals won the bronze medal the first international medal for Australian basketball at a senior level. Jenny also won a Bronze medal at the 1998 World Championships. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics Jenny and the Opals won the silver medal and the claimed the Bronze medal at the 2002 World Championships in China after which Jenny announced her retirement from international Competition.
Accordingly Jenny was not initially selected for the 2006 Opals but Coach Tom Maher encouraged her to suspend her retirement which saw her named co-captain of the Opals with Lauren Jackson to win Gold at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. Later that year again as co-captain Jenny played for the Opals in the World Championships in Brazil where they secured Australia’s first Gold medal at the world level. When Lauren Jackson was presented with the World Championship trophy she walked down the line to present it to Jenny.
In addition to her Opals record Jenny played almost 300 Games in the WNBL for the AIS, Brisbane Blazers, Perth Breakers, Bullen Boomers, Canberra Capitals and Adelaide Lightening. Jenny played for the Washington Mystics in 1999 but put her career on hold to return to Australia for train with the Opals prior to the Sydney Olympics after which she returned to Washington but played on a handful more games before succumbing to injury.
She returned to the court to play in Europe until 2010 playing in the Spanish, French and Hungarian Leagues. Jenny is a Life member of the WNBL, was inducted in the Gold Coast Sporting Hall of Fame in 2013 and in 2016 was inducted into the Australian basketball Hall of Fame.
Ken Madsen is one of Australians most experienced Basketball Administrators and has been recognised for his Service to the sport at both a National and International level.
Ken’s basketball involvement commenced as a player in Ingham in 1958 but when a medical procedure prevented his playing he commenced refereeing. In the early 1960s after his transfer to Papua New Guinea he became involved in administration as well becoming secretary and then president of the Referees’ Association.
He was also instrumental in PNG forming a national team to compete in the inaugural South Pacific Games in 1963. Upon return to Brisbane Ken continued as a referee and represented Queensland at a number of National Championships.
He was instrumental in the formation of both the Brisbane and Queensland Referees’ Associations and was president of both for some years. In 1971 Ken became President of the Queensland Amateur Basketball Association and remained in this position for 9-years. During this time he was largely responsible for the construction of the Basketball State Centre at Auchenflower. He appointed the first State Director of Coaching and oversaw Queensland winning its first national titles.
As Queensland President Ken was a delegate to Basketball Australia and in 1974 became treasurer of Basketball Australia. He stepped down as Treasurer of BA at the end of 1989 amid a total re-organisation and was subsequently re-appointed to the Board in 1998, becoming the Deputy Chairman and an independent director in 2002.
Ken had been involved in the establishment of the NBL in 1979 and in 1989 was invited to become the Chairman (and sole member) of the NBL tribunal, a role he fulfilled for 22 years. In 1976 Ken was appointed to the FIBA Legal Commission and served on that Commission for 38 years including 4 years as deputy Chairman and 4 years as Chairman
His involvement at both State and National level led to a very active involvement in the Olympic movement at national level for some 25 years. He was President of the Queensland Olympic Council at the time of the Sydney Olympics and headed up a number of State Committees designed to enhance the delivery of the Olympics. When Ken concluded his service with Basketball Australia, at Scott Derwin’s invitation he joined the Board of Basketball Queensland in November 2010 and was appointed as Chairman of BQ’s Honours and Awards Committee.
Ken’s financial expertise were utilised in his development of Financial Management standards for BQ and his initiative in moving Basketball Queensland to a Company Limited by Guarantee and introduced BQ’s Financial Management Policy. Again. Ken was an instrument of change which resulted in an independent Board being established in 2009 and as part of the process Ken stood down from the Board having served at an executive Board level for BA for over 25 years. He also retired as Chairman of the Honours and Awards Committee in 2016.
In recognition of his outstanding service to Sport and to basketball in particular Ken has received a number of Awards including:
- Awarded MBE in 1986 for services to basketball
- Awarded Australian Sports Medal in 2000.
- Awarded the Patricia Ramsay Award for services to FIBA Oceania
- Inducted into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame in October 2017
It is indeed fitting that Ken Madsen be inducted into the Queensland Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.
Leroy Loggins (Player)
Leroy first came to Brisbane in 1979, as part of the 1979 Australian-American League, when as a student at Fairmont College he was selected as part of the NAIA team, which played in a competition with Queensland teams.
He played with the Gold Coast team, which won the completion, and was coached by David Claxton, who as Bullets 1980-1981 coach recruited Leroy, from Fairmont State University in 1980 for the 1981 NBL season.
Leroy joined the Brisbane Bullets in 1981, switched to West Adelaide in 1982 – 1983 and re-joined the Bullets in 1984. Leroy was Brisbane Bullets Captain from 1990 until 1999 and he played a record six consecutive grand finals from 1982 to 1987 for three titles. He was adjudged MVP for the 1987 Grand Final.
After the period 1984 – 1989, Leroy was appointed captain in 1990, when the Bullets lost to Perth Wildcats (2-1), where Coach Brian Kerle said: [Leroy] is the best captain I’ve ever had anything to do with and his leadership of a young and new team was superb. On and off the court he was a total inspiration. In 1991 Leroy was granted a “life time“ contract, which was followed by selection in the Australian Boomers team to tour Europe. This was followed by selection for the 1992 Olympics.
Leroy continued to play for the Bullets until 2000, and during his career with the Bullets he won the Most Valuable Player Award eleven times: 1984 -1989, and 1991 -1995. He was selected as a member of the NBL’s 20th Anniversary team in 1998 and the NBL’s 25th Anniversary Team in 2003.
In 2006 Leroy was inducted into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame. He was chosen in the All-Star team 10 times and at one time he lead all time NBL (now third) scoring (13106 points), steals (1221), rebounds (3897) and blocked shots (537). Leroy played 567 NBL games over 21 seasons with an average score points per game 23.1.
He was a member of the All NBL First team 10 times: 1982, 1983-1988-1990, 1993-1994; he is the only person to have won the NBL’s Most Valuable Player Award three times (1984, 1986 and 1987) and he was the NBL’s defensive player of the year in 1987 and 1990.
In 2018, Leroy was selected as first choice in the NBL’s 40th Anniversary Team. Leroy Loggins is the greatest player ever to play for the Brisbane Bullets; he is greatest player ever to play in the National Basketball League. In retirement Leroy started the Leroy Loggins Foundation in 2002 to provide opportunities for sporting development and social interaction for youth at risk. As part of his Foundation, Leroy has coached many young children in both his basketball skills and his attitude to life.
Bob Young started to play basketball at the Brisbane YMCA and Legacy Club in 1948 as a 14-year-old. He would go on to be one of the most influential figures in basketball in Queensland.
In 1951 Bob began playing basketball in Brisbane D grade for Postels and in 1959 he was Player-Coach Brisbane for Pacers in “C” Grade.
Between 1961 and 1996 Bob was Manager and Coach of many, many Brisbane / Metropolitan Zone under age and men’s basketball teams. Bob’s teams were always highly competitive and he was successful in winning many state championships. During these years Bob was also a successful coach of many Queensland State under age and men’s teams with his Queensland team winning the Australian under 18 championships in 1988.
With others, in 1962 Bob Young formed the Lang Park Basketball Club as part of the Lang Park Police Club, becoming the inaugural secretary/treasurer, a position he held for many years, as well as coaching many teams, and a member of various committees to 2015. During his many years with Lang Park Basketball Club Bob coached countless teams over many, many years. For his enormous contribution to the Club and its members, in 1994 he was awarded Diamond Life Membership of QPCYWA.
Bob was heavily involved in the decision to enter the Brisbane Bullets in the national Basketball League in its inaugural year. He was the Bullets first coach in the League’s inaugural year, 1979, coaching the team to fifth position. Between 1994 and 1999, Bob was Basketball Queensland Coaching Director, a full time position during which Bob developed much of the coaching curriculum material and coach development material that had an impact on the standards of basketball coaching throughout the state.
As noted in the introduction to this submission, Bob Young’s participation in sport went well beyond his role as a coach. Included in his administrative and other roles have been:
• Secretary Brisbane Basketball in 1965 and in 1969 – 1970
• Secretary Basketball Queensland. from 1961 – 1977
• Vice President Brisbane Basketball from 1963 – 1964
• Junior Secretary Basketball Australia Junior from 1977 – 1983
• Basketball Australia Junior Commissioner from 1983 – 1992
• Head of Delegation Australian Junior Men’s team to World Championships in Italy and Canada,
and respective related tours from 1987 – 1991
In recognition of his outstanding service to basketball Bob has received a number of awards including:
• Life member of Brisbane Basketball in 1973
• Life member of Basketball Queensland in1979
• Medal of the Order of Australia( OAM) for services to basketball in 1989
• The Australian Sports Medal in 2000
• In 2004, Basketball Australia named the perpetual trophy for the Australian under 16 years
Men’s Championships “The Robert Young Shield”.
• In 2006, Bob was presented with the Basketball Australia Life Time Achievement Award
(since incorporated into BA Hall of Fame)
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