Evan Hamilton was picked as the centre in the Grafton Vikings All-Stars. Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner
Evan Hamilton was picked as the centre in the Grafton Vikings All-Stars. Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

The best Vikings of all time named in All-Star line-up

ONE averaged 30 points per game at his peak, another made the Australian Under-16 All-Stars, and a third is trying to grow the sport in the Lower Clarence after 13 years with the Grafton Vikings.

And that is just three of the squad players.

The Grafton Vikings Men's All-Stars oozes with talent, amassing years of experience that reaches to the international level.

The team was selected by Craig Howe, Bruce Leonard and Wendy Hamilton, who had the unenviable task of trawling through 60 years of history to select the best.

Terry Johnston and former Australian Boomer Brad Davidson lead the starting five, with Matt Holroyd, Sid Nowlan and Evan Hamilton rounding out the run-on team.

Hamilton's basketball career started when he was in high school.

"A few guys approached me to have a game," Hamilton said. "They said they could use my height."

This is back when basketball was run at the courts on Bacon St, Grafton, the same site as is now used for netball.

"There were a few good teams but I can't remember them all," Hamilton said.

"There were a few good times in those days too but there's too many to mention - and a fair share I can't tell you!"

Hamilton made his name in the Under-16s when he played for New South Wales in 1972, scoring 80 points in the finals series to lead the state to glory.

"The Vikings travelled everywhere back then," Hamilton said.

"Newcastle, Armidale, Sydney, Brisbane - all over the place.

"We used to leave after work at 5pm on a Friday and drive down overnight. We'd get into Sydney at 1am on the old highway.

"We'd play all day Saturday and Sunday and come back just in time to start work on Monday.

"It was pretty tiring but worth it."

Davidson made his mark for the Vikings in 1991, when he scored 39 points in the Under-18 country final, and left a lasting reminder of his talents in his final game where he drained 62 points against Gosford.

He went on to play in the NBL, represented Australia and won Commonwealth Games gold in 2006.

Johnston was a prolific scorer in the early 90s for the Vikings, and left the club in 1992 to link with North East Melbourne Arrows in the NBL.

Nowlan possessed a "silky smooth" jump shot and was a pointscoring machine, finishing 1977 as top scorer and MVP in the NSW country final win. He bagged another MVP in the 1985 title win.

Holroyd dominated the State League games when he played from 1994-96.

The Grafton Vikings team of the past 60 years is the brainchild of historian and author of History of Grafton Basketball (1963-2013) Kerry Wilsmore.

The $25 book will be available from Grafton Sports Centre from Monday, December 9, at 6pm.

GRAFTON VIKINGS MEN'S ALL-STARS

Starting Five
Terry Johnston - point guard
Brad Davidson - guard
Matt Holroyd - forward
Sid Nowlan - forward
Evan Hamilton - centre

Squad members
John Dahl, Steve Smith, Matt Moran, Dean Chudleigh, Stuart Tait, Dan Collins, Tim Bartlett

Highly Commended
Ken Want, Terry Cooper



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