Richard ‘Dick’ Butler
Richard ‘Dick’ Butler began his journey with the Basketball community with Forestville Eagles as the Junior Coordinator where he committed 12 years. Dick worked tirelessly in this role throughout the 1970’s whilst also being a member of the management committee for 10 years spanning 1972-1982.
Dick served as the team manager for South Australian teams at the National Junior Championships from 1975-1982, this led to him being named the Chair of the SA Junior Committee from 1980 to 1989. Dick’s achievements did not end at the Junior level, with him being both the Chairman and Director of the Forestville Eagles as they ventured into the NBL. Dick went on to become the founding Chairman of the Adelaide 36ers when they joined the NBL in 1982. Dick’s contributions and commitment to the 36ers has led to him being recognised as a life member for the organisation.
Dick’s roles within the NBL continued to grow and develop with him commending as an Executive Member from 1984-1986 and Director 1980 – 1997. Dick also continued to take on roles within Basketball South Australia becoming President in the late 1980’s. Dick went on to be recognised as a Basketball South Australia life member also. Whilst serving as President of Basketball South Australia, Dick was also named the President of Basketball Australia to which he held presidency for 10 years.
Dick has reached a phenomenal level of achievement in the Junior space, being the President of the Australian Junior Basketball Council from 1981-1986. Dick was a team leader for 12 junior and senior World Championships competing between 1983-1999. Dick saw his achievements extend to being the Director of International in 1999-2000 as well as being in the role of the CEO from 1997-1999.
Dick advocated for gender equality within sport and pushed for the development and competition for all. Being frustrated by the lack of junior National championships for girls, Dick set about introducing under 14 and under 20 age groups for females, laying the foundation for women in the sport in South Australia for years to come. In 1994 Dick was the Chairman of Organising Committee for the Women’s World Championships.
Dick’s work with FIBA during the 1980s and 1990s further highlighted his commitment to advancing the sport through the development of competitions, players, and inclusivity.
In 1996, Dick earned his life membership from Basketball Australia, recognising his substantial contributions to the sport as a senior executive and administrator. Another remarkable accomplishment, reflecting his unwavering commitment to South Australian Basketball, occurred in 2020 when Dick was bestowed with the AM (Member of the Order of Australia in the General Division) for his noteworthy service as a senior executive and administrator in basketball, along with his advocacy for gender equality in both development and competition.