Basketball has a storied history in the town of Lithgow and it’s thanks to the volunteers who have poured their heart into developing the game in the local region.
The life members of the Lithgow Basketball Association have now been acknowledged with a new plaque taking a prime position on the wall in the foyer of the local indoor sports centre.
This will help patrons take notice of those who have made significant contributions to the game in Lithgow.
“We believed as directors we needed to start recognising those people who put their time and effort in over the years with good service… that have done a lot for Lithgow basketball,” head of Lithgow Basketball Richard Marjoram said.
“Letting people know who does the hard yards for Lithgow basketball, who puts themselves out there week in and week out to keep Lithgow Basketball afloat.”
At the top of the list is Merv Emms whose legacy extends across Australia and Oceania.
Emms co-founded the Lithgow Basketball Association in 1946 and coached the Lithgow team, leading it to six straight NSW Country Championships from 1953-1958.
He also coached the NSW under 16s and 18s teams, winning seven out of 10 national finals appearances.
Today the Merv Emms Trophy is the prize for the Australian under 18s men’s champions.
“We’ve had some great people in there,” Marjoram said including local legend Nancy Hill.
“Nancy Hill was our first female to ever represent Australia.”
Hill played for the Australia women's national basketball team at the 1957 World Championship held in Brazil.
She started playing basketball for Lithgow in the early fifties and represented NSW for almost a decade from 1955-64. Hill captained her state twice.
Hill continued her involvement in the game after the end of her playing days as she served as president, coach and referee in the Lithgow Basketball Association.
In 2007, Hill became a member of the Lithgow Sporting Hall of Fame in the legend category.