Every year a few members of the Hills Basketball community are acknowledged for their contribution through our Annual Association Awards.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank every member of the Hills Hornets Basketball Association for the constant support and hard work throughout the season. Our association is built from the ground up, starting with our hundreds of volunteers that dedicate large parts of their life to supporting our club.
The following individuals were recognised for their hard work throughout the 2023 season:
Sienna has had an incredible year and should be very proud of her various achievements, JPL, ECC, SPP and Nationals as we all are at the Association. This year’s recipient has a never say die attitude in both offence and defense & was consistent throughout the season.
JPL rounds she average 18.18 points per game, JPL Finals she average 13.25 points per game.
Moving on from Association level to State level where she took her game to a new level and was instrumental taking the U16 Metro Girls to take 4th place in the Country. She averaged: 26.40 min per game, 10.9 points per game, 5.1 rebounds per game and 2.8 assist per game.
Sienna leads by example & her team first mentality and work ethic is unquestionable.
What a year it has been for Mitch Smith. Averaging 18.52 points per game in the Youth League Men and his contribution to the NBL1 was second to none. He continues to impress year in and year out.
He is described by his teammates as being fully committed, dedicated, and driven to succeed. His desire to improve each week is unrivalled.
This year, he dominated at the Unisport 3×3 Nationals where he won the MVP of the tournament and took home the gold medal. Continuing from this success, he participated at the Oceania tournament in New Zealand, where his team won gold. His team has now been selected to represent Oceania in November. He has also participated in the University World Cup in Tokyo. This accumulates to 11 trips across the country this year for Basketball.
Mitch also gives back to grass roots basketball in Rep Rookie Coaching, Rep Elite Camps, HDP camps and currently Prep4Reps.
It’s amazing to see Mitch’s progress, winning the Rookie of the Year in 2022 and this year awarded an All Star 5 forward for Youth League Men 1, as well as Player of the Year and MVP for his team.
Jordan Zenere has been involved with the Hornets Academy to the Representative program for a number of years starting with our Rep Rookies, lower division and progressing thru to Division 1 in 2023.
After finishing second on the MJL ladder, she took her team through to the Semi Final where they suffered a tough loss. With her calm and nurturing nature and her coaching determination saw her team bounce back with a vengeance. She took her team through to the Grand Final of the State Championships in which they took home the title of the best Under 12 Girls team in the state.
TJ has been involved with the Hills Representative Program for many years, in many roles. From coaching Rep Rookies to U12’s to U18 Premier teams to now Senior teams. What an asset he is to the Hills Basketball Coaching Community, by always leading from the front and showing a prime example of what a true Hornet represents.
His involvement of the NBL1 and Youth Men program, working together to build a strong male program has been second to none and the results speak for themselves. His team showed grit and determination throughout the season, a testament to who TJ really is.
With a Win Loss record 19-3, the team took on a tough physical battle with Central Coast Crusaders in the semifinal, where they were victorious.
Even though the result didn’t go their way, the improvement of this group finishing 6th in 2022 to 2nd in 2023, is a true representation of TJ’s belief in the players, knowledge of the game and dedication.
Karen Chapman has been involved with the Hills Association for many, many years. Her caring nature, motherly ways, dedication and passion towards this group of men and the Hills Association is shown in everything she does on a game-to-game basis.
All the extra little things that people don’t notice to make coaches, players, and staff jobs a whole lot easier.
Karen takes on this role for the love of the game and people involved and it’s noted that her children no longer participate in the team.
What an asset Nick Graham is to the Hills Basketball Coaching Community by always putting up his hand morning, noon, and night.
Nick started coaching over a decade ago within the Academy Program, moving into a mentor role within this program. He has been involved in re-vamping the academy holiday camps and assisted in school basketball sessions.
A Junior Representative Head Coach for 12 years and has taken our U14 Boys to the Club Championships 2 years in a row. This is a testament to his leadership and vast knowledge of the game. A former Youth League Mens player and current Waratah Mens player.
After all of this, Nick is always approachable and contactable to any junior or senior coach that would like to talk ball and develop and grow their game.
The Association Community Award is presented to people who make an outstanding contribution to Hills Basketball Association throughout the year, and this is certainly the case for this year’s recipients.
Wendy and Jason Strong have been involved with the Association for more than 25 years, coaching in local competition, school teams and representative teams. The pair coached 7 teams this year alone.
Wendy and Jason have played at Representative level for the mighty Hornets since 1996 and 1997 which is an incredible 26/27 years.
They have played an astonishing 408 games between them at the highest level in NSW. At her ripe age of 42 Wendy played her final NBL1 Women season this year, while Jason is still playing Waratah Men and took back-to-back titles this year.
Wendy and Jason have 4 children Jedi, Maple, Israel and Elroy, all now members of Hills Hornets Junior Representative program and proudly following in their parents’ footsteps.
The Hills Rookie Referee of the year has showed great progress, stepped into higher grades and grew as a leader on and off the court. She is attentive to the feedback she receives and almost instantly makes the adjustment. She was selected to officiate the 14G1 Grand Final at the Metro Junior League finals after a fantastic year. With the great female referee role models at Hills Basketball, we know she will have a fantastic 2024.
The Hills Junior Referee of the Year has performed exceptionally well and is always keen to learn and improve in every aspect of Basketball. He was a regular referee on our Junior Waratah games and was also selected for Junior Waratah Finals and State Cup. He was selected for JPL Finals, however had to give up this opportunity as he was officiating in the Waratah Wheelchair League, where he was awarded a Grand Final at Senior Finals weekend. This is an outstanding performance given its his first full year of refereeing at this level. We cannot wait to see what the future holds for him.
The Hills Senior Referee of the year has achieved many of her goals this year due to her diligence and dedication to officiating. This year saw her make her debut on NBL1 Mens games and a regular on both Men and Female NBL1 games throughout the season. She was awarded a NBL1 Womens quarter final and was crew chief for the 2023 Waratah Womens Grand Final Game.
Refereeing aside, she is a second mum/big sister for all of our junior officials and is also instrumental in helping providing on and off court coaching to help them achieve their goals. She is an inspiration to all of our referees, especially our females – she is strong, passionate and loyal. Our referee program is stronger because of her involvement.
The Steve Nicholls Trophy recognizes the effort of an individual that have had a profound impact on Hills Basketball Officials Community. This year we could not just give one award, so we have two deserving recipients. You couldn’t question the commitment of these two, who are committed to our Referee program both on and off the court. They both have actively contributed to the implementation, development, and success of our clubs initiatives throughout their time at HBA. Whether it be at local, representative, Junior or Senior, the recipients are a true representation of HBA’s dedication to engagement, inclusion, and giving back.
Whether it is volunteering at referee workshops, providing education to grassroot and representative officials, or fostering the community spirit amongst our team, these two recipients go above and beyond to create a safe, enjoyable and supportive environment for all. Following in Steve’s footsteps, these recipients really do embody the philosophy of ‘one person can make a difference.’
Lyn’s presence on the score bench radiates warmth, positivity, and professionalism, making every game a delightful experience for both players and officials. Her dedication is unmatched, as evidenced by her unwavering commitment to covering nearly every game of the Tuesday night Women’s Premier League, numerous Monday night Men’s competitions, and her invaluable contributions during the NBL1 season.
While she is already a seasoned stats pro, her drive for improvement and her team-oriented approach makes her not just an excellent statistician, but also an invaluable colleague and friend to all of us.
Louise Suprain has been involved in several roles with Hills for many years, both at local and representative games and a regular official on our Premier League games. This year she has been assisting almost every weekend for Seniors and has conquered one of her biggest fears, the “shot clock”.
She has grown and developed and is confident on all scoretable positions. She has become a valuable asset on our Senior games. She always has a smile on her face, gorgeous laugh and the bench is never dull with her on it. We are forever grateful that she has made Hills her second home and we are richer for it.