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Basketball SA Hall of Fame Legends: Frank Angove & Lorraine Eiler

Congratulations… Frank Angove & Lorraine Eiler

Basketball SA Hall of Fame “Legend” Werner Linde will be joined in that exclusive category by two of the sport’s all-time greats across multiple contributions, in 50-60s superstar Lorraine Eiler and pacesetting pioneer Frank Angove.

Both Lorraine and the late Hiram F. Angove made contributions to the sport far above and beyond and their elevation to “Legend” status at the Hall of Fame presentation dinner on Friday, July 9 at the Stamford Grand Hotel will be one of the event’s major highlights.

Peter Ali, David Gould, Bryan Hennig, Boti Nagy, Geoff Weeks, Ted Powell and the 1990 North Adelaide Rockets women’s team will be inducted into the BSA Hall of Fame on the night. 

Frank Angove was among the Hall’s original trio of inductees in 1993 after a long and distinguished career in the sport, winning four A-Grade championships at Our Boys Institute (OBI) – including two as captain-coach – and representing South Australia at Australian Championships from 1946-1951. 

In 1951, he was named the best player at the national tournament, the forerunner of the MVP award. 

As an administrator, Frank formed the voluntary building committee which culminated in the erection of Forestville Stradium by 1953,  and was active in negotiating the building of additional stadia at Bowden, Marion, Hillcrest, Sturt and Morphett Vale.

He also negotiated the site and building of Apollo Stadium in 1969, managing the venue until his retirement in 1978. Frank also was the honourary state secretary for 25 years and employed full time for 11. 

As a team manager, he was SA’s manager at 26 national championships, the Australian men’s team manager at Olympic Games in 1964 and 1972 and at the FIBA World Championship in 1974.

Frank also wrote basketball for The News newspaper for 30 years, was the first life member of both the District and Metropolitan Amateur Basketball Association and the SA Amateur Basketball Association (now BSA), the fourth life member of Basketball Australia and in 1980 he was awarded the Order of Australia for his services to basketball.

Lorraine Eiler (nee Maguire) was a sporting superstar in South Australia and Australia, as both a state and national player in netball, a four-time SA squash champion and ranked No.2 in Australia in 1959. 

As an A-Grade tennis player for East Torrens, she won singles and doubles tournaments, yet despite her multiple successes, her first love was basketball. 

In 1953 when the Harlem Globetrotters played in Adelaide, Lorraine and the rest of her seven-a-side basketball team (as netball then was called) were asked to fill in on the evening’s program. 

Dazzled by the “five-a-side” game, Lorraine and Eril Homburg (nee Drennan) asked Vern Thomas – who would coach Australia’s historic first national team at a World Championship when he had charge of the original Opals in 1957 – for some lessons in “five-a-side”.

They eventually formed the club Vikings and approached Frank Angove to arrange games for them.

That led to the start of the South Australian United Women’s International Rules Basketball Association in which Lorraine’s Vikings remained unbeaten for two years, winning championships in 1955 and 1956.

Women’s basketball also was underway in Victoria and NSW, Lorraine driving the start of national championships which eventually encompassed all of the states and the ACT.

Captain of the SA team in 1955, she guided it to the Australian championship title that year and again in 1956 before being named captain of the Australian Opals team which paid its own way to compete at the 1957 FIBA World Championship in Brazil. 

Lorraine’s Saturday morning sports show on radio station 5CL – “Calling all Sportswomen” – also was groundbreaking, as is the fact she is the first Australian woman to receive a U.S. college scholarship.

Inducted into the Basketball Australia Hall of Fame in 2007, the same year as Frank Angove, it truly is fitting the duo of basketball visionaries and pioneers achieve elevation to Legend status together.