BASKETBALL New South Wales, in conjunction with the BNSW Country Committee, has announced recently that the annual NSW Country Tournament will now be known as the “John Martin Country Tournament”. Martin has given a lifetime of service to basketball in New South Wales, Australia and internationally.
The country committee feels that it is fitting and appropriate to name its biggest and longest standing event after one of basketball’s most dedicated administrators.
Martin has made a significant contribution to basketball as a referee, referee coach and as an administrator.
His contributions to the sport have seen him previously honoured with Life Membership to Shoalhaven Basketball, NSW Basketball and Basketball Australia.
His expertise in officiating has seen him appointed to the role of Technical Commissioner for the 1997 World Championships for under 22 men, 1998 World Basketball Championships for women and the 1998 World Wheelchair Championships.
BNSW Country Chairman, Anthony Foy told Basketball NSW that “Martins longstanding dedication and service to basketball, in particular NSW Country basketball, is admired and respected by many people throughout the Australian basketball community.”
“He has been pivotal in ensuring that basketball has not only survived but thrived in many of our country towns.
“Johns input, dedication and perseverance has ensured that events that we take for granted such as the Country Tournament, under 12 Jamboree and Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup remain in existence today.
“On top of this, John has also been a leader throughout the Oceania region in the fostering, education and development of referees and technical officials”.
Martin, who first started as the country basketball secretary back 1969, said he was honoured with the recent announcement.
“Basketball NSW recently decided to honour three major contributors to the sport, by naming three major events after them,” Martin said.
“Port Macquarie’s John Davidson has the under 12 Jamboree named after him, Maitland’s Richard Boyle the Country Development Program (CDP) and the annual country tournament after myself.
“It’s quite an honour, especially as the event has such a rich history.
“We have been running it in its current format for 36 years and then another 15 years or so in its previous format.
”At first, the events were run at metropolitan venues but as it got bigger, we decided to move it to country venues and rotate it.
“Now, we have more than 200 team compete annually, from all over the state. This acts as a pathway for our players to go on and represent at state and national levels.
“Just look at the results we had after the introduction of the CDP five years ago. Within two years, the 16 boys won a national title. Since then the 16 boys have won it again and the 18 boys have won it.
“Eventually, once the new stadium is built here in the Shoalhaven, we will be able to host country championships once again.”
Martin also mentioned that there were plans for the reintroduction of senior country championships, acting as a pre-season carnival, from early as next year.