The phrase “an ornament to the game” could have been coined with Patrick Hunt in mind. For over four decades, Hunt has nurtured the best Australian players, coaches and officials and guided them towards unparalleled success on the domestic and international stages including Olympic Games, World Championships and World University Games.
A son of Tamworth in northern NSW, Hunt began his coaching and playing career for the mighty Thunderbolts, playing and coaching within the junior and senior programs. Within a few years Hunt was leading NSW state representative teams to national championships. When fellow Hall of Fame member Dr. Adrian Hurley was appointed the inaugural director of the AIS’ basketball program in 1981, his first decision was to recruit Hunt, who had moved to Canberra to coach the Canberra Cannons in the NBL, to the AIS as his assistant.
It was a decision that paid both immediate and long-lasting dividends. At the Institute and later as head of Basketball Australia’s National Intensive Training Centre Program, Hunt was the integral figure in the development of ‘the Australian way’ of both playing and coaching basketball. Modern champions like Jackson, Taylor, Bogut, Mills and Dellavedova would not be where they are today without Hunt’s unstinting efforts.
Today, as President of the World Association of Basketball Coaches and chair of FIBA’s Technical Commission, Hunt is recognised as one of the finest educators the game of basketball has ever known. For his undoubted influence on the sport and its players and coaches in Australia and around the world, it is a pleasure to see Patrick Hunt enshrined as a Coach in the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame.