Ray Strickland † | 2020

Ray Strickland has dedicated a lifetime commitment to the game of basketball having been involved as a player, coach and as an administrator within the game. He started his basketball journey as a player in 1957 playing for St Patrick’s College, Wellington. This was followed by playing club basketball for the Marist Club as well as playing representative basketball for Wellington at both age-group and senior levels. He also travelled to the United Kingdom for work where he played for the London Latvian Sports Club.

An injury shortened his playing career, so he turned his attention to coaching and developing other players. Over a thirty-year period from 1964 to 1994, Mr Strickland coached the Wellington Women’s Representative team, the Marist Club team (winners of the Inaugural National Club Championships), Saint Patrick’s College and the Wellington U16 Boys’ Rep Team (winning the U16 National Championships).

Probably Strickland’s most influential impact on the game was his contribution through both governance and administrative roles. He was a Board Member and President for the Wellington Basketball Association, a member of the Saints Committee, Chairperson for Capital Basketball Ltd and Board Member and Chairperson for the New Zealand National Basketball League. During his time, he also fulfilled the role as the League’s General Manager, making some significant and trailblazing decisions, some of which still influence the game today.

Sadly, Mr Strickland passed away in January 2021, but not before he was presented with the award at a ceremony in Wellington last July (2020).