Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Basketballers honour their best

And Seymour's newest national representative made a surprise presentation.

CHALPAT SONTI May 29, 2014 3:23am

Carol Harrop and Marc Sartori flank Joel Durham, the winner of the Shane Williams Memorial Award.


It was an emotional night on many levels when the Seymour Basketball Association held its annual presentation of awards on May 16.

The night, as usual, kicked off with the Shane Williams Memorial Award, presented by Shane’s mother Carol Harrop, to Joel Durham.

The award is for a basketballer who consistently trains and shows dedication to the sport. Joel is a member of the under-18 side and was chosen for the award by coaches and administrators.

This year there was a new annual award — named in honour of the late Paul Comte, and presented by his widow Liz — for a female player who shows commitment and dedication to the sport.

Paul Comte was a stalwart of women’s basketball in Seymour and the first award in his name went to Rosie O’Sullivan.

Seymour’s latest Australian representative, Gabe Richards, was on hand to present the annual awards in her name to junior basketballers then had two other tasks.

The Opals star presented a life membership of the association to Martin Raby, who has been involved with the sport in Seymour for many years as a coach, referee and on the committee — among other things.

Raby started off in the sport coaching his children and has been involved ever since.

Richards, who recently toured the US with the national side, also presented her Opals shirt to Craig Hockley, in recognition of his efforts in her development.

Hockley recounted those efforts to the Telegraph.

‘‘We got her into basketball at under-14 level,’’ he said.

‘‘She was a netballer and we had to talk her mum (Karen) into letting her play.

‘‘It was definitely a great thrill being presented with that (shirt) and I’m rapt with it. It’s not the sort of stuff you look for, but to get a bit of thanks is great.’’

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