Five individuals with NBL links will be honoured at the 2019 Basketball Australia Awards night, as Lanard Copeland, Brad Dalton, Bill Mildenhall, Ray Hunt and Lorraine Landon OAM get inducted into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame.
Copeland’s name was etched into Australian basketball lore at this year’s NBL Gala Dinner, when it was announced he would be entering the hall of fame.
“It is an absolute pleasure to be inducted into the hall of fame,” Copeland said in his speech during the NBL awards night.
“They say you never walk into the hall of fame alone and that is so true. The support I’ve gotten over the years in this league and around the world has been phenomenal.”
Starring with the Melbourne Tigers throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s, Copeland was a key member of the 1993 and 1997 championship winning teams. The Atlanta native was the 1997 Grand Final MVP, while he also was named into the All-NBL First Team in 1999 and 2002.
Copeland scored 10,735 points in his career, the fourth most in NBL history. After he left the Tigers, Copeland had stints with the Brisbane Bullets and Adelaide 36ers.
Dalton’s career spanned over a decade, with him appearing in 290 NBL games for the City of Sydney Astronauts, West Adelaide Bearcats, Sydney Supersonics, Geelong Supercats and Sydney Kings.
Dalton was a member of the 1982 championship winning Bearcats squad, where he almost recorded a double double in the Grand Final, finishing with nine points and 10 rebounds.
Landon has been a staple of the Sydney Kings organisation since 1989, when she became the team manager of both the Kings and Sydney Uni Flames in the WNBL.
She became the first female to concurrently manage teams in both the NBL and WNBL, with her contribution to basketball unmatched since that time.
Landon remains with the Kings today, serving as the GM of operations.
Hunt holds the record for most NBL games officiated on 949, ending a 33-year career in 2011.
Hunt officiated in the NBL Finals from 1983-2011, and he is also a four-time NBL Referee of the Year.
Mildenhall is one of the NBL’s most known officials, sitting second in the league for most games refereed at 945. He also won the NBL Referee of the Year award 16 seasons in a row, which is the record for not only consecutive wins, but also total wins.
Mildenhall started his career as an NBL referee during the league’s inaugural season in 1979, remaining in the role for 32 years.
Find out more about all of the inductees to the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame below:
Australia’s most decorated basketballer, Lauren Jackson owns an incredible resumé at home, abroad and internationally. Born to parents that both played for Australia, Jackson carved out her own career by winning six WNBL Championships, two WNBA Championships and 3 EuroLeague Championships. She was named WNBL MVP and Grand Final MVP four times each, was a three-time MVP in the WNBA and a seven-time All-WNBA First Team nominee while clocking up 16 All-Star nominations across the WNBL, WNBA and Europe.
As a member of the Opals, Jackson was just as prolific. She claimed an Olympic bronze medal (2012), three Olympic silver medals (2000, 2004, 2008), two World Championship bronze medals (1998, 2002), a World Championship gold (2006) and a Commonwealth Games gold (2006) across 220 games for Australia while she retired as the all-time leading points scorer in Olympic women’s basketball history.
Beginning his career in the Northern Beaches area of Sydney, Brad Daltonwent on to feature in 290 NBL games for the City of Sydney Astronauts, West Adelaide Bearcats (where he won the 1982 Championship), Sydney Supersonics, Geelong Supercats and Sydney Kings.
The power forward represented the Australian Junior men’s team in 1978 and then advanced to the Boomers in 1981. Competing in the pinnacle of sporting events, Dalton competed at the 1984 Olympic Games where he averaged seven points and 4.3 rebounds before backing up in 1988 at the Seoul Olympics. Since retiring, Dalton has remained within the game as a junior coach and with the Manly Basketball Association.
Born in Atlanta, Lanard Copelandmoved 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.
Allison Tranquilli (neé Cook) achieved the exceptional feat of winning Olympic medals with the Opals eight years apart in 1996 (bronze) and 2004 (silver). She joined the Opals as a 17-year old at the 1994 World Championships and went on to compete in the 1998 and 2002 World Championships as well, playing 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.
Troy Sachs, who deferred his induction from 2017, was a member of the Australian Rollers first gold medal at the Paralympic Games, scoring 42 points in the final at just 20 years of age to defeat Great Britain.
He went on to captain the Rollers at the next three Paralympic Games, claiming two more medals in 2004 (silver) and 2008 (gold). Sachs also achieved success at home in the National Wheelchair Basketball League where he won four consecutive MVP’s, in the USA where he was a three-time Champion as well as in Italy, Germany and Turkey.
Lorraine Landon has been a key contributor to New South Wales and Australian basketball for over 30 years. After serving her local club, Bankstown, as a player, coach and administrator, Landon became manager of the Sydney Kings and Flames in 1989 and was the first female to concurrently manage teams in the WNBL and NBL. Nationally, Landon was the Opals’ team manager at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics as well as the 1986 World Championships while also holding the position of Head of Delegation for four junior FIBA World Championships.
At the 2000 Olympics, she was appointed competition manager for basketball (both male and female) and at the 2000 Paralympics, she was the competition manager for athletes with a physical and intellectual disability. Landon has served on national and international basketball bodies for 30 years, including as Vice President of the FIBA women’s commission, board member of Basketball NSW and as General Manager, Teams and Competition for Basketball Australia.
Following an injury-interrupted playing career in the AFL, 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’ 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.