2008 Referees Break Up and Presentation
Added 22 December 2008
The Hawthorn Referees Branch re visited the very genesis of Hawthorn Basketball when it held its 2008 Referees Break Up at the Swinburne Community Centre in Camberwell.
The Swinburne centre was the venue for the very first season of Hawthorn junior basketball back in 1988 (which was about the last time the floor was cleaned), with a grand total of six teams.
Today the focus was squarely on the many individuals; past and present that have helped build and promote the Referees Association.
Activities on the day included a Sega driving machine, arcade shooting game, air hockey, grid iron practise, ultimate Frisbee and a slam dunk competition featuring the awesome in-flight talents of Nic ‘the Birdman’ Hall, ‘the hard to tell apart’ White Brothers, Luke ‘The Ox’ Gazzola, Paul ‘Rare Hair’ Furman, Will ‘the Scaffold” Potter plus many other less notable names.
Nic Hall executed a 360 degree Rialto that set the standard for the dunk off; then the White boy’s tore it up, slamming harder than a toilet door in a wind storm, Luke ‘The Ox’ Gazzola showed all the skill and poise of an cripple water buffalo when he face planted not once, but twice into the harsh Swinburne pine to send medicos all over Hawthorn into a frenzy. Once we had the forklift remove what was left of the Ox from the court, Will Potter showed his class by flushing a perfect 10 that had the judging panel screaming ‘touch down!
But it was a young kid from the wrong side of town that bravely stepped forward to produce the undisputed high light of the day.
With co-dunker Nic Hall assuming the position on all fours in the middle of the key, young Whitey launched himself off Nic’s back to send down a truly devastating Jordan-Esq style dunk that had young Mother’s covering the eyes of their children all over town.
With Whitey crowned the King of the Dunk fest, attention was then drawn to the delectable spread of spit roasted lamb and pork with all the trimmings. Referees are not usually known for their outstanding table manners and this occasion was no exception, the hungry horde devoured the spread and then assembled their chairs for the formal part of the day.
Hawthorn Branch President, Will ‘AKA Big Wllly, AKA Styles’ Papakostas thanked all present for their unwavering commitment and energy through out the year. Will also thanked HBA Treasurer and matriarch Jan Clinton for all her continued effort and dedication and then called forward a host of well known HBA identities to make the other individual presentations.
2007 Referee of the Year; Sophie Porter presented the prestigious ‘Referee of the Year’ award to Tom Dale, citing Tom’s rapid elevation through the ranks of panel referees.
2007 Rookie of the Year Liam ‘Chop-chop’ O’Halloran presented the highly prized mantle of ‘Rookie of the Year’ to Jake Bianco; Jake thanked his fellow referees for their support.
Other major award winners were:
Long standing HBA player, coach, referee, mentor, Tribunal member, Grade Secretary, Executive member and enforcer Ash Mai was honoured for his many years of service to the Hawthorn Basketball Association.
Tim ‘Fundea’ Dunlea cited a number of referees in the area of refereeing excellence for their consistency, professionalism and commitment, those award recipients were: Daniel Polonsky, Matt Morarty, Cato Zietsman, Adam Norris, Will Potter, Therese Montalto, Sam Cross.
Then it was back to the serious business of more fun, more games, reminiscing about old times, courtesy of Scotty Langdon, Ryan Cinzano and Jess Barnett and regurgitating lunch (you know who you are…)
At the end of the night it was a tired but happy group of individuals that attended to the clean up, special thanks to Will Papakostas, Garry Furman, Tom Dale, Nic Crowe. Peter Pratt, Ash Mai and Tim Dunlea for all their efforts in delivering another memorable and successful Referees Break Up.
Also a big thankyou to Tim ‘Fundea’ Dunlea for the happy snaps from the day.