VICTORIAN basketball mainstay Isobel Smith has sadly passed away overnight.
Isobel put all of herself into her passion for basketball, especially in her beloved Wangaratta. Isobel will be remembered as a country basketball legend, a Jack Terrill Medallist and was an outstanding administrator across many decades.
Isobel and Frank Smith were heavily involved in representative basketball, including the start of the Country Victorian Invitation Basketball League (CVIBL), which eventually became Big V.
Isobel was pivotal to the success of the fledgling league as she basically ran the CVIBL in the late 1980s and early 1990s – producing fixtures, results and ladders on a weekly basis and then introduced an end of season booklet complete with all results, copies of media coverage and photos.
At the end of her ten year stint at the CVIBL, Isobel had built the female side of this competition up to 36 associations and left the game flourishing.
Devoted to her work at Wangaratta Basketball and also Swan Hill Basketball, Isobel was very dedicated local volunteer during her time at both associations. Frank and Isobel’s daughter Karen represented the Opals back in the late 80s and early 90s and played under Tom Maher at Nunawading.
In 1976, Isobel was inducted as a Life Member of Wangaratta Basketball, the first female to be inducted at Wangaratta, and was the 25th recipient of the BVC Jack Terrill Medal in 1995.
She was also inducted as a Big V Life Member and Isobel and Frank attended last year’s BVC 50th Anniversary celebrations as well as the 2018 Baskebtball Victoria Awards Night.
Isobel is a regular at CBL games and is recognised with the CBL North East Conference Championship Shield being named in her honour.
She was committed to enhancing all aspects of country basketball and will be fondly remembered as an extraordinary community-minded woman.
Our deepest sympathies go out to her friends, family and all who were lucky enough to know her.