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.
2021 Queensland Basketball Hall of Fame Dinner
The 2021 Queensland Basketball Hall of Fame will be held on Saturday, 17 April in the Sky Room at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in Brisbane.
For more information and to book your tickets click here.
Introducing the 2021 Queensland Basketball Hall of Fame Inductees:
In the period before and immediately after the formation of the Queensland Amateur Basketball Association, Kenneth Pearson was recognised as one of the game’s most prominent players and coaches. In his later years, Ken’s contributions to the game enabled and facilitated the development and strength of the game in the Wide Bay and Burnett areas.
Ken was introduced to basketball by Ivor Burge and as one of the tallest medical students, he took to the game immediately. So much so that he also commenced playing basketball at the Y. M. C. A. facilities in Edward Street Brisbane during the Second World War.
Ken was a prominent player, vice caption, and stand in coach of the inaugural Queensland representative team, captaining the inaugural University of Queensland basketball team at the inter varsity Australian championships held in Sydney. In 1946 the first Blues and Half Blues for Sporting Excellence for basketball were awarded by the University of Queensland and Kenneth Pearson was awarded a Half Blue for basketball. In 1947 Ken was awarded a Full Blue for basketball.
In the late 1950s Ken had settled in Maryborough and was a part of the highly successful Dodgers basketball team, made up mostly of medical professionals. Maryborough’s affiliation with Queensland Amateur Basketball Association caused Maryborough to become part of Central Queensland Zone, a placement that created enormous logistical problems. Ken became the leading lobbyist for the successful creation of Wide Bay Basketball Zone, he was the zone’s inaugural president and worked tirelessly towards making it a huge success.
His refereeing and coaching knowledge was invaluable to the Wide Bay Zone and Ken extended his help to the many smaller basketball associations scattered across the Burnett and Wide Bay area.
The enormous growth of basketball in Maryborough created the need for bigger and better facilities, and under the leadership of Ken Pearson, the Maryborough basketball stadium was conceived and created. The appropriately named K.M. Pearson Basketball Stadium was opened on 22 March 1975.
Doctor Kenneth Malcolm Pearson died aged 93 years, on 30 January 2019. It is indeed appropriate that this giant of the foundation years of basketball in Queensland is inducted posthumously as a member of the Queensland Basketball Hall of Fame in the Class of 2021.
Barry Raftery’s more than 60 years involvement in basketball has encompassed his time as a player, as a coach, as an administrator and as a consultant.
Barry was first introduced to basketball in Toowoomba at the age of 14 years by his grandmother’s neighbours Danny, Bob and Joe Smith who, in 1948, were among the pioneers of basketball in Toowoomba.
In 1956 Barry and several fellow workers from Piggott’s department store joined together to form Piggott’s Basketball Club. Piggott’s became the powerhouse basketball team in Toowoomba in the 1960s and 1970s, winning more than ten straight premierships.
Barry began coaching in 1963 as an assistant coach for the Toowoomba Men’s team before taking charge of the Queensland Senior Men’s team in 1966 and 1969. It was during this time that Barry formed the Toowoomba Mountaineers alongside Joe Smith, Barry Neilsen and Neville Bousen to compete in the Pacific Conference.
From 1968 Barry Raftery coached the Mountaineers for 15 years, during which time the Mountaineers became embedded into the sporting and civic culture of Toowoomba.
Barry’s presence in basketball was as impressive away from the court, becoming the first president of the Toowoomba Basketball Association in 1971 after the amalgamation of the separate Toowoomba Men’s and Women’s Basketball Associations.
Barry has also held an administration position with the Toowoomba State League team, was an inaugural Director of the Toowoomba Sports Club as the representative of Toowoomba Basketball Association, and served as a councilor of the Toowoomba City Council.
In recognition of his outstanding service to basketball in particular, Barry has received a number of Awards including, Life Member of the Toowoomba Basketball Association and a Member of the Toowoomba Mountaineers Hall of Fame.
It is fitting that this great servant of the game be inducted into the Queensland Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2021.
Townsville's Kevin Sugars started playing basketball in 1952 as a Bouncers Club junior. His penchant for point scoring was evident in his first season, when Kevin scored a then-record of 65-points in one game. Kevin carried his points scoring records from Townsville, into the Queensland State and Australian Championships.
At the 1960 Australian championships held in Newcastle Kevin scored 105-points to finish third in individual points scoring. The following year at the 1961 Australian championships in Melbourne, he scored a then Australian championships record of 161-points. His closest rival at that Australian championship was South Australian double Olympian Mike Dancis who scored 87-points for the championship runners-up.
Kevin continued his Australian championship scoring blitz in Adelaide in 1964 when he was once again the championship’s leading scorer. Overall Kevin represented Queensland at five Australian senior men’s championships including 1963 in Devonport and in 1965 in Brisbane. Kevin was selected, but unable to participate, in the 1962 Australian championships because of injury.
Kevin become the team manager of the Townsville Suns when they entered the Queensland State League in 1986. When the Suns entered the National Basketball League in 1993, Kevin was again invited to be the team manager, a position that he retained throughout the life of the Suns and, following the name change, of the Crocodiles.
Kevin was manager of the Suns / Crocodiles for 23-years during which time he was inducted into the Crocodiles’ Hall of Fame. In 1986 the Suns’ best and fairest award was instituted as the Kevin Sugars Medal and remained as such through the NBL life of the Suns and the Crocodiles.
Kevin Sugars was an exceptional Queensland basketball player of his era and an outstanding Queensland representative basketball player of any era. He excelled at five senior men’s Australian championships and he made extraordinary contributions to his teams, and to basketball in Townsville, North Queensland, and Queensland. He is a fitting inductee to the Queensland Basketball Hall of Fame in the Class of 2021.
Agnes (De Rooy) Dhu was already an accomplished athlete at the state level when she started playing basketball in 1963, while training as a physical education teacher at Kelvin Grove Teachers’ College.
After an impressive first season, Agnes was invited to join the Lang Park PCYC team before she made her first appearance for Queensland at the 1966 Australian Championships on the Gold Coast. Agnes would go on to play for Queensland for the next five years.
Her talent on the court led to selection on the 1967 and 1968 Australian teams, though the team never had the chance to compete.
In 1968 Agnes married John Dhu and moved with him to Mackay where they played for Bouncers before eventually moving to Port Moresby in 1970. This was at a time when players had to pay to attend training for the Australian team and for their own uniforms. Agnes had to sell the family car and source sponsorship from motels on Nebo Road for the chance to represent Australia.
Agnes was selected for the Australian Team to compete in the 1971 World Championship in Brazil where Australia finished ninth. Following the Championships, the team toured Europe and defeated the Spanish national team.
In 1974 the family returned to Mackay where Agnes played for Souths and in 1977 went to Darwin before settling in Mount Gambier.
Agnes Dhu was a stalwart of women’s basketball in Queensland and is a worthy inductee to the Queensland Basketball Hall of Fame in the class of 2021.
Edward Arthur (Eddie) Hegvold never played basketball however his two sons, John and Paul, were both Queensland representatives. It was through his sons and their involvement in basketball that Eddie himself became involved in the game and became one of Rockhampton Basketball’s major benefactors and contributors over an unbroken period of more than 35 years.
Eddie worked tirelessly behind at scenes for basketball in Rockhampton since 1956 and in 1961 was present at a meeting at which the Rockhampton Basketball Association was granted land by the Rockhampton City Council.
Rockhampton had been granted permission to conduct the 1962 Queensland Championships and the local association now had to build the courts, complete with backboards and other infrastructure, before the championships commenced.
Eddie prepared the plans and specifications for the construction of the stadium; he arranged for all engineering work to be undertaken at no cost to the association; he called tenders and personally oversaw the construction of the stadium. That all of these facilities were completed the evening before the championships commenced was a testament to Eddie’s leadership.
Eddie served as president of Rockhampton Basketball between 1964 and 1969 and was a patron of the association from 1969 until his passing in 1991.
It is indeed fitting that Eddie Hegvold be inducted posthumously into the Queensland Basketball Hall of Fame in the Class of 2021.
Mark Bragg was born in Townsville on 14 March 1956 and at a very young age he joined the junior basketball squad that was coached the legendary Charlie Doyle at Hermit Park State School.
As a Townsville representative junior player, Mark represented North Queensland at many inter-zone under age State Championships and he was selected to represent Queensland at the U16 (1970-1971) and U18 (1972-1973) Australian Championships.
In 1973 at the age of 17, Mark moved to Melbourne and joined the Melbourne Tigers. During the five years that he was in Melbourne, Mark gained a teaching degree and coached many junior basketball teams.
In 1978, Mark was invited home to Townsville to play for a Queensland All-Star team against the touring Czechoslovakia team who had played the Australian team in a test series. He was also invited to join the Australian Tattersalls Camp in Adelaide which, with two other camps, selected the Australian team.
Mark was appointed Queensland Basketball Director of Coaching in 1983 and he continued in that position until 1985. His was the creative mind behind the formation in 1985 of the Queensland Classics to expose more junior players to a higher standard of play and was instrumental in the establishment in 1986 of the Queensland State Basketball League for men and women.
In 1983-94 Mark played for the Brisbane Bullets in the NBL, playing 44 games and scoring 399 points. Mark played in the 1984 grand final where the Bullets lost 82-84 to the Canberra Cannons.
He moved back to Townsville and was the inaugural Townsville Suns coach in the Queensland Basketball League. He held this position from 1986 until 1992 as he prepared Townsville for entry into the NBL.
In the late 1980s Mark began campaigning to bring a National Basketball League franchise to the city in a project designed so young Townsville players could grow up, learn the game, and, if they were good enough, represent Townsville at a national level. The franchise adopted the name of Townsville's State League team, the Townsville Suns. The Suns' debuted in February 1993 with Mark as head coach, a position he held until 1998 for a total of 164 games.
Mark Bragg’s enormous contribution to basketball in Queensland continues today with the junior state championships and the Queensland Basketball League. Mark is a most worthy member of the Queensland Basketball Hall of Fame in the Class of 2021.
Pat (Nimmo) Leivesley's 28-year player career commenced in 1958 when the inaugural Mackay women’s basketball competition was launched, captaining her teamto win the Mackay 1958 summer premiership. In 1959 Vampires changed their name to Vikings and Pat remained captain until moving to Dysart in 1976.
In 1960 Pat led Mackay to win undefeated the Queensland State Championship in Kingaroy at their first attempt and repeated the victory again in 1961 in Toowoomba. She was selected as vice-captain of the Queensland teams playing in the 1960 and 1961 Australian championships played in Melbourne and Newcastle respectively.
In 1962 Pat captained the North Queensland team to an undefeated State Championship title where she received the most outstanding player award and was subsequently selected as Queensland captain for the upcoming Australian Championships in Adelaide; she was the first Mackay player playing in any grade to be named State captain. Pat was unavailable for State selection in 1963 but returned to captain Queensland again in 1964 at the Australian championships at Devonport.
In 1970 a North Queensland women’s team embarked on a goodwill tour of New Zealand, with venues from the north and south islands included in the itinerary. As no-one was available to manage the team, Pat chose to forego the team’s captaincy and acted as the team’s manager as well as playing. Pat was an outstanding team manager interacting with media, players, and officials at all of the venues.
Pat Nimmo was awarded life membership of Mackay Basketball in 1976 and after moving to Dysart later that year she soon became captain/coach of the Dysart Vikings, as well as captain/coach of the Dysart team which competed successfully in Central Highlands carnivals.
During all of her years playing basketball Pat also served on the associations’ management committees and taking up the role of association publicity officer. Pat also coached many lower grade and junior teams, showing players the pathway towards success in basketball and in life.
Pat and her family returned to Mackay in 1986 and again served another two years on the management committee and in 1994 was a member of the Mackay QBL management team with the responsibility publicity of the Meteors and Meteorettes.
Pat (Nimmo) Leivesley is a very worthy member of the Class of 2021 of the Queensland Basketball Hall of Fame.
Chris McGraw started playing basketball in high school when he attended Balmoral State High School and competed within the Brisbane competition. Chris played for Brisbane in the 1976 U16 Queensland State Championships before moving to Rockhampton and representing Central Queensland in 1978.
His appearances at State Championships led to his selection in the Queensland State Team starting in 1976 at U16 Australian championships. He then went on to play for Queensland in the U18 and U20 Australian Junior Championships.
In 1979 Chris was selected as a member of the 1979 Australian U20 team to compete at the World Championships in Brazil, the inaugural junior World Basketball Championships for men or women.
In 1980 Chris joined Brisbane’s Lang Park Club for whom he played in the Australian American Amateur Basketball League. At that time, the AAABL was the premier basketball league in Queensland and was recognised as one of Australia’s premier leagues. Chris’s exceptional performances in the AAABL, contributed to his being selected the Australian senior men’s team that toured China in 1980.
In the same year, he joined the Brisbane Bullets and played for them from 1980 to 1985 and again from 1990 to 1991. A one-club player, Chris played 187 games for the Bullets, scoring 955 points, 235 offensive rebounds, 329 defensive rebounds and totaling 564 rebounds. In 1985 Chris played in the first grand final win for the Brisbane Bullets when they beat Adelaide 36ers 121- 95 at the Chandler Arena.
Chris also played 54 games for the Maroochydore Clippers in the Queensland Basketball League during four years from 1986, the league’s foundation year, until 1989 and was selected as a member of the league’s All-Star 5 team in 1988.
Chris McGraw’s contribution to basketball in Queensland as a player has been outstanding and he is a worthy inductee to the Queensland Basketball Hall of Fame in the Class of 2021.
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