As an 18 year old in 1949, Baldwin made the Nelson Representative team and played for the region for the following 14 years. In 1957 he joined the New Zealand Team (now known as the Tall Blacks) and was awarded the New Zealand Guards Trophy in the same year for best forward in New Zealand basketball. Baldwin was a member of the New Zealand team through to 1962, finishing his time as a player with a six week tour through South East Asia, New Zealand Basketball’s first major overseas tour. Frank was still playing basketball in the 1960’s but had also become a talented referee, serving as New Zealand’s referee on the 1967 New Zealand Men’s tour of Australia.
In the late 1960’s Baldwin, along with a passionate group of Nelson basketballers, built Nelsons own basketball stadium, a New Zealand first. It was named the Jack Robbins Memorial Stadium and was opened in 1971. It still serves the Nelson community today. In the 1970’s Frank also served as the Manager of the New Zealand Men’s Basketball team, making him and Sir Lance Cross the only people to have represented New Zealand as a player, referee and manager.
In addition to his basketball accolades, Baldwin was also a successful businessman, City councillor and as Chief Executive was responsible for the reforms of the Nelson and Wellington Harbour Boards, and the New Zealand and Australian Civil Aviation Authorities. These are just some of the many projects that Baldwin was involved in.
Baldwin passed away in March 2013. His award was accepted by Baldwin’s children Tony Baldwin and Raewyn Baldwin-Denton.
Graeme Davey is remembered by the basketball community for his administrative work for basketball in New Zealand, but his career started in Canterbury as a player.
During the 1970’s Davey held various roles on the executive of the Canterbury Basketball Association and also had a stint as the secretary and treasurer of the Basketball Referees Association of New Zealand (BRANZ). At the time, the New Zealand Basketball Federation, the predecessor to Basketball New Zealand, was located in Christchurch and Davey became its President from 1980 to 1986. During this time, in 1980, Davey and other members of the executive travelled to Russia to promote New Zealand basketball at the Moscow Olympics.
During his time as President, New Zealand hosted the one and only Commonwealth Basketball Tournament in 1984. In 1986 Davey hosted the then General Secretary of FIBA, Boris Stankovic and his wife for a week in New Zealand. This groundwork helped with New Zealand’s invitation as a wild card entry to the World Championships in Spain in 1987 and the emergence of New Zealand basketball on the international stage.
Davey spent several years on the executive board of FIBA and was also the President for FIBA Oceania, one of few New Zealanders to achieve this honour.
Davey passed away in February 2015. The award was accepted by Graeme’s wife Bev Davey.
Bruce McCormack was one of the early pioneers of basketball in New Zealand. His involvement began in 1947, when along with a number of other enthusiasts, he assisted the sport’s infant beginnings in the YMCA’s and military gyms throughout the country.
McCormack real passion though was refereeing for which he was selected as a FIBA referee in 1963. From 1966 to 1972 he served as an executive member of the New Zealand Men’s Basketball Referees Association and was secretary of the Association between 1974 and 1976.
McCormack was also a rules interpreter for 10 years, starting in 1973. In the same year he commenced his involvement with the Canterbury Paraplegic Association and began Wheelchair Basketball in Canterbury. This lead to over 25 years in national and international level disabled sports events. Some of the many highlights were when Bruce was chosen as the Chef de Mission for the 1984 Paralympic team to New York, and again for the 1986 FESPIC Games in Indonesia.
In 1983, after a 30 year career as New Zealand’s most respected referee of the time, Bruce retired from this aspect of the sport. He continued his involvement with the Paralympic movement and as a Manager of the Tall Blacks for several Tours.
McCormack was made an honorary international referee, the first in New Zealand to be granted this honour and a life member of BRANZ. In 1984, Bruce’s commitment to the sport of basketball was recognised with an Order of the British Empire award in the New Year’s Honours.
McCormack passed away in October 1998. The award was accepted by McCormack’s wife, Marion McCormack.
Robin Milligan was predominantly involved with basketball as a referee and administrator. He controlled local matches in Canterbury and National Tournaments during the 1960’s and 70’s, but his real emergence into international refereeing came after he was awarded a FIBA Referee Badge in 1978. This resulted in regular appointments overseas, especially throughout Asia. Prior to Robin’s FIBA appointment there had been a 22 year hiatus since a New Zealand basketball referee had been appointed to an overseas tournament.
Milligan was also involved with BRANZ, serving two terms from 1989 to 1992 as a rules interpreter, and 1995 to 1998 as a technical administrator. He was also on the executive of BRANZ and was awarded a Life membership.
In 1988 Robin refereed at the Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Malaysia and then later that same year at the Seoul Olympic Games. He was the first New Zealand referee to officiate at an Olympics since 1960. Following this he accepted the role of Technical Commissioner for the Oceania senior Championships in 1989.
Milligan continued his referee duties at several international events throughout Asia into the 1990’s. In 1994 he was appointed as Team Manager for the Tall Blacks through to the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Milligan passed away in August 2016. The award was accepted by Milligan’s wife Shirley Milligan.
Keith Mair’s involvement with coaching started 48 years ago in the Hutt Valley. His involvement spans every level of coaching, from club teams, Secondary School teams, Rep teams, the NZ NBL’s Canterbury Rams and the Hawkes Bay Hawks, and at the international level. He was the Assistant Coach for the 1980 Senior Women’s Team and the New Zealand Junior Men’s Team Coach from 1980 to 1983. He was also Assistant Coach from 1984 to 1987 for the New Zealand Senior Men’s team.
From 1996 to 1997 he was the New Zealand Under 23 Men’s Head Coach. Mair coached international teams for 21 years, 13 of those as head coach for the Tall Blacks. He was the New Zealand Senior men’s head coach from 1988-2000. During this time his achievements were many, including achieving the first ever test series win over England in 1990, followed by series wins over Japan in 1990 and 1994, South Korea in 1996 and England once more in 2000.
Mair also oversaw the first win over a US Division One College team in 1994, wins against the Netherlands, Cuba, Czech Republic (twice) and Canada. Under his direction as head coach, the Tall Blacks won the William Jones Cup Tournament in Taiwan in 2000. In the same year he took the team to Sydney where they were the first New Zealand men’s team to make an appearance at an Olympic games.
Mair was member of the Basketball New Zealand board for 18 years, including six years as Vice President. He was also Head of Sport Development for the ‘Hillary Commission for Sport, Fitness and Leisure’ from 1988 to 2002 and the Chief Executive of England Basketball from 2003 to 2013.
Leone Patterson started her basketball career at Mana College. She was an Under 20’s player for Porirua from 1979 to 1981, where her team made the National finals in 1981. She was part of the New Zealand junior team from 1979 to 1980 and then the New Zealand National Team in 1980.
Patterson gained a scholarship to attend Chapman University in California from 1982 until 1986 where she was awarded Conference Freshman of the Year, MVP for two years and First Team All American in her senior year. She was awarded Female Player of the Year in 1991 by the New Zealand Basketball Federation. Leone played for New Zealand in the 1982 Commonwealth Games and at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
Megan Compain began her basketball career in Whanganui where she played for her high school team. She left New Zealand at the young age of 16 as an exchange student to attend high school in the United States. Megan went on to attend St Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, playing for the St Joseph Hawks (STJ), where she was twice named Atlanta 10 Player of the Week, won selection in the All-Atlanta 10 Team in her senior year, was the 1997 Big Five Player of the Year and was named in the Big Five Hall of Fame after leading STJ to victory in the Atlanta 10 championship. Over her four years at STJ she finished with 1497 points, 443 rebounds and a phenomenal 82.4% accuracy from the free throw line.
Compain made history in 1997 when she became the first New Zealand player to secure a contract to play professional basketball in the United States, signing on with the Utah Starzz for the inaugural WNBA championships. She was also the youngest NCAA player in the league that year at the age of 21. In 2015 Megan was inducted into the Saint Joseph’s University Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
Compain was selected to the Tall Ferns in 1998 and competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Sean Marks began his basketball career at Rangitoto College. In 1992, he moved State-side to study and play for the University of California, Berkeley. He was the first New Zealand-born player to play in the NBA. In the 1998 NBA draft Marks was drafted by the New York Knicks, but went on to play for the Toronto Raptors.
Between 1998 until his retirement from playing in 2011, he played for the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns, New Orleans Hornets and the Portland Trail Blazers. He also did a brief stint in Poland playing for Slask Wroclaw between 2000 and 2001. Upon retirement from the game he took up a position in 2012 as Director of Basketball for the Spurs, and a year later became Assistant Coach for the team. In 2015 he returned to the front office becoming Assistant General Manager of the Spurs.
Career highlights included playing for the Spurs who won the 2005 NBA Championship. The Spurs won the NBA Champs again in 2014 while Sean was Assistant Coach. He played for the Tall Blacks in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the 2004 Athens Olympics, and was part of the Tall Blacks team that finished fourth at the 2002 FIBA World Championships held in Indianapolis, USA. That team went on to be awarded New Zealand’s team of the year and overall winners of the Halberg Awards for that year.
In February 2016, Marks started as General Manager for the Brooklyn Nets, part of the reason he was not able to attend the awards. His father, Gregory Marks, attended to accept the award on Sean Marks’ behalf.
Gina Farmer had an outstanding career both on the domestic front and overseas. She attended East Central University in USA where she was the 1993 to 1994 the Sooner Athletic Conference women's basketball player of the year.
Farmer was a member of the New Zealand team from 1992 to 2004, and competed at the 1994 World Championships in Sydney. She was also a member of the Tall Ferns team that competed at both the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games.
Farmer played overseas from 1999 to 2004, predominantly in Hungary for team Szolnoki, where she helped them to win the Hungarian Cup Final in 2004 and also made the Europe Cup Final in the same year. Farmer was awarded Best Forward in the 2003 Europe Cup.
Farmer is currently assistant coach of the Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats, currently defending champions of the Women’s Basketball Championships.
Judge John Macdonald started his basketball career in New Plymouth where he was a dynamic Point Guard and a driving force in Taranaki basketball.
Judge Macdonald was selected to the New Zealand men’s team in 1970 and remained an important member of the team through to 1981. During this time he captained the team three times, firstly in 1972 and again in 1975, where he was the leading scorer at the first and only New Zealand Games, which were held in Christchurch. He captained the side and was again the leading scorer in the three match series against Australia in 1978, which was when New Zealand cemented an historic first win over Australia, beating them 67-65. In the same year the New Zealand men’s team won the silver medal at the Commonwealth Tournament Championship in Britain.In recognition of his abilities as a Point Guard, the NZ NBL has named the John Macdonald Trophy for Most Outstanding Guard after him. This is still awarded.
Judge Macdonald was also known for his career in law, especially when he was appointed a District Court Judge in 1990, going into semi-retirement in 2009, but still retains an active warrant today. Judge Macdonald was elected as Patron of Basketball New Zealand in 2012, a position he still holds today.