Australian basketball has lost one of its greatest servants with the death of pioneer, John Gardiner.
A former Olympian, Gardiner was involved with the game for more than 50 years as a player, coach and administrator at all levels of the game.
He coached more than 400 games and won four consecutive SBL championships with the Perry Lakes Hawks – where he is commended not only for his coaching, but for his time spent helping juniors develop.
He was named the SBL’s coach of its first 25 years with Perth Wildcats assistant Andy Stewart as his deputy.
He has also been a Basketball WA board member for more than 20 years and was the chair of the SBL Commission of Basketball WA.
Gardiner was also a long-time basketball commentator and called many of the Wildcats games in the late 1980s and 1990s.
He was on the panel which picked the Wildcats 30th Anniversary All-Star Team, while his son Ryan was a part of the Wildcats' 1995 championship-winning squad.
John Gardiner had been battling skin cancer since late last year. He was 71.