Ken Finch commenced playing basketball at 14 years of age alongside Bruce Flick. Both men were to become foundation Olympians.
They were members of the Camperdown Playground team in the City of Sydney competition. In 1951, he joined Newtown Police Boys Basketball Club with Bruce Flick and met Merv Moy. The team was mentored by the future 1956 Olympic Assistant Coach Harry Burgess, who Ken credits with much of his early success. In 1954, Police Boy’s Club team won the NSW under 16, under 18 and senior NSW’s titles. Indeed, Ken represented and captained NSW at that first national Under 18 championships held in Launceston.
In 1955, he represented NSW on the senior team at the national championships which were held in Sydney. At the conclusion of those championships at the age of 19, he was selected in the 16 man Olympic squad. When he was selected to the subsequent 1956 Olympic team he was 20 years of age and the youngest player. At 5 feet 10 inches in height, he played the guard position and so was also one of the shortest players. Despite that, he was one of the toughest. Ken continued to represent NSW until 1958 before chronic knee injuries forced his early retirement from basketball. In 2000, Ken carried the Olympic torch through the streets of Newtown where he had grown up and played basketball.
Ken has the honour of being a member of Australia’s first Olympic basketball team.