Basketball Australia is saddened to hear of the passing of Russell Riches, a national representative with the Boomers at the 1970 FIBA World Championships.

A resident of Geelong, Riches played with the Geelong YMCA before winning two Championships in 1968 and 1969 with the Melbourne East Demons in the VBA.

He was a representative of the Nunawading Spectres and is a member of their Hall of Fame.

Playing for a senior state team in 1969, Riches went on to be named in the Australian side for the 1970 World Champs in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Alongside names including Lindsay Gaze, Ken Cole and Ray Tomlinson, the Aussies finished the tournament in 12th place, recording a victory over the United Arab Republic and Riches scored in three of their group games.


His work within basketball extended beyond his playing days with Riches involved in basketball camps at Duke University.

He was also a part of the coaching panel with the SEABL team, Geelong Supercats, and the Mildura Mavericks and is a CBBA Life Member.

Basketball Australia extends its condolences to the Riches family.