Ken Clifford (dec)


Ken’s legacy as far as being an innovator is concerned will go down in the history books. His attention to detail as Vice President of the Basketball NSW referees from 1972-1977 and again in 1986 was one of the most prosperous periods for him. He was the Secretary from 1978 to 1985 as well which gave him the chance to prove himself in another position.

He could do no wrong in the reffing circles with his efforts to crack down on issues in the game of basketball. Faith was put into Ken when he took part as a member of the Examination Panel from 1972-1982 and 1985-1988, as well as being a Rules Interpreter in 1981 and from 1985 to 1988.

Ken did what he could to be at the services of officials. He stuck it out for as long as he could until he retired from the NBL. One of his biggest achievements was being one of the first referees to officiate in the NBL, notching up over 145 games including the very first NBL Grand Final.

His hard work paid off when he received his Australian Badge in 1971 and went on to be internationally recognised receiving his FIBA Badge in 1978.

Ken’s involvement in the game took him to more places outside of Australia. He wanted to educate people overseas in areas where they weren’t as familiar with basketball as Australia is. His teaching proficiencies allowed him to get intricate with Oceania Basketball, visiting Pacific Island Countries to assist with referee education. He toured Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia in 1987, then American Samoa, Western Samoa in 1988 and American Samoa again in 1990. A thinker and very articulate in the way he approached his work, Ken wrote an article for the Oceania Confederation in 1991, describing his island experiences. This was published in “A Century of basketball and 25 years of the Oceania Confederation”.

Ken’s basketball resume made him an extremely respected man within the Hunter sporting community as both a participant and administrator and was the central figure in building up the Hunter Academy of Sports to give talented athletes the chance to improve their skills with the hope of advancing to the big stage. The level still stands today.
He was a sensational teacher and sports organiser. His attention to detail and the way he communicated with people, mainly kids, made him a very successful leader at Wallsend High School. Ken left this mark on the Academy for 27 years until his retirement this year.

Ken’s tireless effort of working around the clock to ensure the standard of athletes in the Hunter region are of the highest order will always be remembered. His devotion to allowing athletes opportunities to follow their dreams will always be remembered.

Ken served in many capacities in the sport of basketball over an extended period in excess of 50 years.

Our Partners