Croucher shoots into Hall of Fame

Proud moment: Vickie Croucher was inducted into the Basketball NSW Hall of Fame recently.
Proud moment: Vickie Croucher was inducted into the Basketball NSW Hall of Fame recently.

Former Cowra resident Vickie Croucher (nee Ticehurst) was recently inducted into the Basketball NSW Hall of Fame.

The prestigious award largely recognises her outstanding contribution to basketball in the Bankstown area in Sydney over four decades.

"It's a wonderful thing for me and it was an honour to be nominated by the Bankstown club and a greater honour to be inducted in the Hall of Fame," she said.

"I'm grateful to all my friends at Bankstown and throughout NSW during my career."

Ms Croucher began her basketball career in Cowra as a 15-year-old and moved to Sydney in the early 1960's to play for the 'Barbarians' who won 10 State Championships in a row and many Sydney Championships.

She played for NSW between 1964 and 1968 winning two National titles and was selected for the Australian team in 1966 to play at the 1967 World Championships in Prague.

"Making the Australian team for the World Championships was definitely a highlight," Ms Croucher said.

"They were ineligible for the Olympic Games because they didn't have women's basketball as an event in those days. That was a great achievement for me.

"Another notable achievement, as a country girl from Cowra, was being inducted into their Hall of Fame a few years ago."

In 1969 Ms Croucher became the first paid employee for the Canterbury Bankstown Amateur Basketball Association after it was formed in 1964.

This was one of the changes she has seen in her sport.

"The most notable things in the time include the changes from the school halls to the multi-million dollar indoor stadiums we have now," she said.

"The players of today probably don't appreciate what they have and are probably not aware of the work that went into getting them to play on.

"There has also been a transition from volunteers in associations to paid employees which has bought our sport into a much more professional era. Whilst a lot of the country associations are still being run by volunteers, bigger associations have these multimillion dollar stadiums and a large base of employees and that's been a huge change in the sport."

A successful coach and highly ranked official, Ms Croucher continued her work in many capacities with Bankstown Basketball until her retirement in 2008.

She believes the future of basketball in NSW lies in the local associations.

"The way they promote their sport and the way they look after their volunteers and their players is important and Basketball NSW needs to make sure that these associations are viable, giving them support they need."

Ms Croucher continues her involvement in basketball as a Board member and chairperson of the representative committee at Bankstown Association and is still a member of several NSW Basketball advisory and competitions committees.