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.
Hailing from Tamworth in northern NSW, Hunt began his basketball journey with the Thunderbolts, playing and coaching with the junior and senior programs.
Within a few years, Hunt was leading NSW state representative teams to national championships before lending his talents as Head Coach to the Canberra Cannons NBL club in 1981 and just two years later, Hunt joined the AIS where he led the men's program from 1983-1992.
Representing Australia, he coached around 181 international games and took teams to two World Junior Men’s Championships as Assistant Coach and two World Junior Championships as Head Coach while also leading Australia at two World University Games as Head Coach.
Integral in the development of the ‘Australian way’ of both playing and coaching basketball, modern champions including Lauren Jackson, Penny Taylor, Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova would not be where they are today without Hunt’s unstinting efforts as they progressed through the AIS.
While continuing to devote his time to the AIS, Hunt became an assistant coach to the Australian Boomers in 1989.
He participated in the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992 where Australia finished sixth and was then a member of the scouting panel for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games where the Boomers equalled their best ever result with a fourth-placed finish.
Hunt continued to be based out of the AIS as the Manager of National Player and Coach Development for Basketball Australia and Head Coach of the National Intensive Training Centre Program from 1993-2008.
Engaged by FIBA to scout and identify international trends and styles of play, Hunt worked at the 2006 and 2010 World Championships and 2016 Rio Olympic Games and on behalf of FIBA Oceania, he has conducted countless coaching clinics throughout the FIBA Oceania region.
Serving as an Executive Member of the FIBA World Association of Basketball Coaches (WABC) and President of FIBA Oceania WABC from 1994-2010, Hunt is recognised as one of the finest educators the game of basketball has known and in 2009, he was appointed to the new position at the AIS of Applied Technical Advancement Coach.
Within that role, he worked with Olympic Games and World Championship-calibre coaches leading the inaugural AIS Coaches International Study Tour to the 2012 London Olympic Games before taking up a position in 2013 as AIS Senior Consultant, High Performance Coaching and Leadership continuing his work with Olympic Games and World Championship-calibre coaches.
Hunt continues to strive to develop the game of basketball on a national and International scale as the current President of the FIBA World Association of Basketball Coaches and the Chair of the FIBA Technical Commission.
In addition to his Australian Basketball Hall of Fame induction, Hunt was appointed as a Member of The Order of Australia, AM, for significant and outstanding service to Basketball, particularly as a coach, in the 1995 Australia Day Honours.
He was also awarded the Australian Sports Medal in 2000 and more recently, was conferred with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his exceptional commitment to the advancement of Coaching excellence worldwide by the USA National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).
For his undoubted enduring influence on the sport and its players and coaches in Australia and around the world, Hunt has deservedly earned recognition by being inducted as a Coach in the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame.
Purchase your tickets for one of Australian basketball's most prestigious nights here.
The 2016 Australian Basketball Hall of Fame Class:
Perry Crosswhite AM
Liesl Tesch AM
Patrick Hunt AM
Ronald Harvey AM
Ken Watson BEM