SHOALHAVEN basketball legend John Martin has given so much to the sport and now Basketball Australia has decided to award him with one of its greatest honours.
Martin will join Tasmania’s Kathy Foster, Queensland’s Neil Hamilton, South Australia’s John Heard and Sue Hobbs, NSW’s Tom York and Victoria’s Charles Ryan (deceased) to be inducted in the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame’s 2013 Class.
Martin received the call just over a month ago and said he never expected it.
“It’s just a total surprise. I don’t do the things I do to win awards,” he said.
“It is just a bonus for doing what you do.”
Martin said it was a great honour to be inducted among other basketball greats such as Bob Staunton OAM (deceased), John Raschke OAM (deceased), Bob Elphinston OAM and Alistair Ramsay OAM, as well as this year with good friend and the other NSW inductee Tom York.
Few people have done more to professionalise the officiating of basketball in Australia than Martin, who will be inducted as a technical official.
His career has stretched from the mid-1960s to the present day and encompasses a wide variety of on and off-court roles.
Controlling his first Australian Championship fixture in 1967, Martin soon progressed through the ranks and within a decade was the bearer of a FIBA referee’s pass.
For six seasons Martin officiated in the NBL before deciding to move into referee training.
The first Australian to be accredited as an international referee instructor and examiner, Martin travelled across the Oceania region to develop both referees and score-bench personnel.
A long-term chairman of Basketball Australia’s Technical Commission, Martin was also a key figure in the operation of the 1997 World Championships for Men Under 22, as well as the 2000 Olympics and Paralympics.
Today, Martin continues to serve the game as a senior consultant to Basketball NSW and is working on planning and building the new Shoalhaven Indoor Sports Centre.
Martin moved to the Shoalhaven in 1967 and taught science at Nowra High School until 1985, when he moved into basketball administration roles.
Although the Australian hall of fame is one of his biggest awards, Martin said one of his biggest sporting achievements was receiving the Federal International Basketball Association Radomir Shaper award for his dedication to the FIBA Technical Commission in 2010.
He was the first Australian to win the coveted award.
But one of his proudest career moments was establishing the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cups, where he is still a director.
Martin will receive the Australian hall of fame honour at a prestigious black tie event later this month.
The fifth ABHF Induction Dinner will be held on November at The Pullman Albert Park in Melbourne and will recognise those who have made an outstanding contribution at international or national levels, across professional leagues, through states or associations, at the local level, or to Australian basketball generally.