INDUCTION into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame is one of the highest honours in our sport with Allison Tranquilli, Bill Mildenhall, Ray Hunt and Lanard Copeland set to join the ranks of Australia’s greats.
Allison Tranquilli (neé Cook) is a dual-Olympic Games medallist, being part of the Atlanta and Athens Olympic Games campaigns. She joined the Opals as a 17-year old at the 1994 World Championships and went on to compete twice more in 1998 and 2002 en route to a glorious international career with 242 national games overall. Domestically, Tranquilli represented the Melbourne Tigers, Dandenong Rangers and Bulleen Boomers over 227 games in the WNBL. The guard is the only player to have won Rookie of the Year twice (1992, 1993) and in 1993, she was also named MVP as she put together an incredible season at just 21 years of age. Tranquilli went on to be the league’s leading scorer in 1998 and was named to the All-Star team on six occasions, the equal-third most in history. Tranquilli was inducted into the Basketball Victoria Wall of Fame in 2016.
Bill Mildenhall took up basketball officiating in 1979. He was a referee in the inaugural year of the NBL and went on to officiate in the league for the next 32 years. Mildenhall sits second for most games refereed in the league at 945 and was awarded the NBL Referee of the Year award 16 seasons in a row from 1988-2003, which is a record for both the number of awards won as well as consecutive wins. He officiated at Junior World Championships, two Olympic games (1992 and 2000) and at five World Championships before serving on the FIBA Technical Commission. He has also worked administratively as referee manager for Basketball Australia and Basketball Victoria.
Ray Hunt began refereeing at the age of 16 and joined the NBL in its inaugural season alongside Mildenhall. In 2011, he finished a 33-year career as the league’s games record holder with 949 matches officiated. A four-time Referee of the Year, Hunt featured in the NBL Finals every season between 1983-2011 while he also earned the accolade of World Championship Referee in 1986, 1990 and 1993. Hunt officiated at the 1981 and 1985 Oceania Championships and 1988 Seoul Olympics while he has gone on to be awarded Life Membership of the Victorian Basketball Referees Association as well as the NBL.
It was a no brainer that @LanardCopeland was destined to become an NBL Hall of Famer.
— NBL (@NBL) February 20, 2019
One of Melbourne’s iconic NBL basketballers, Lanard Copeland was born in Atlanta and moved to Australia in 1992 after a four-year college career with Georgia State and two seasons in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers. Copeland joined the Melbourne Tigers in the NBL and stayed with them until 2005, winning Championships in 1993 and 1997, when he was also named the Grand Final MVP, while he made the All-NBL First Team in 1999 and 2002. Leaving the Tigers in 2005, Copeland went on to play for the Brisbane Bullets and Adelaide 36ers, amassing 532 games in his career and 10,735 points- fourth most in NBL history. Copeland was inducted into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame on February 17 at the NBL Gala Awards evening.
The presentation of the Andrew Gaze, Robyn Maher, Sandy Blythe and Sue Hobbs medals for the best Australian Boomers, Chemist Warehouse Opals, Rollers and Gliders players will also be conducted on the night.
2019 AUSTRALIAN BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS
Lauren Jackson AO
Troy Sachs OAM
Lorraine Landon OAM