Queanbeyan Basketball celebrates 40 years

Jason Codey attempts to block a Wayne Bradley shot while Alan Hopkins plays some aggressive defence prior to the legends match on Saturday. Photo: Elliot Williams
Jason Codey attempts to block a Wayne Bradley shot while Alan Hopkins plays some aggressive defence prior to the legends match on Saturday. Photo: Elliot Williams

Basketball players young and old came together on Saturday to celebrate 40 years of Queanbeyan basketball.

Exhibition matches were held throughout the day culminating with a legends match featuring some of Queanbeyan’s best ever players.

Following the games a gala dinner was held at the Kangaroos Club where old players could gather and share memories and reminisce about the glory days. 

Wayne Bradley, Jason Codey and Alan Hopkins all competed in the 40th Anniversary Legends match on Saturday. Photo: Elliot Williams

Wayne Bradley, Jason Codey and Alan Hopkins all competed in the 40th Anniversary Legends match on Saturday. Photo: Elliot Williams

Perhaps Queanbeyan’s best ever basketball graduate, Olympian Tonny Jensen, returned to town for the event and presented his old club with his Australian jersey from the 1996 Olympics.

Mr Jensen said it was a very special experience to return to where his basketball career started with the Roadrunners.

“I started because of friends, but I wanted to become the best player I could and that led me to spend every waking moment at the Queanbeyan basketball stadium,” Mr Jensen said.

“It was that period [in Queanbeyan] that solidified the process of becoming a young basketball player but also gave me the love of the game.

“Queanbeyan is an incredibly large part of why I had so much success in basketball.”

Mr Jensen passed on wisdom to juniors from his career which also featured a stint in the National Basketball League with the Canberra Canons.

The Queanbeyan Amateur Basketball Association has produced many top flight talents in its 40 years, many of which dusted off the boots for Saturday’s game.

Former Cannons player David Monck, former Canberra Gunners captain Jonno Miller, Alan Hopkins, Sam Bresnik and many more joined together to make the legends match a spirited affair.

The organiser of the event, Wayne Bradley, threatened to make an official complaint after Miller entered the game for the opposition and helped guide them to a 45-34 victory.

Current president Jan Browne said despite not seeing the court for a few years the players were highly competitive and tuned in on the defensive end.

But most importantly she said it was satisfying to see so many old friends come together to celebrate Queanbeyan basketball.

Ms Browne said the next milestone would be securing new facilities as the club was currently at capacity with the stadium seeing 1200 to 1500 people per week.