Sydney Kings celebrate legends

by Ross Lane

Last Tuesday, the Sydney Kings team gathered to pay tribute to the players who’ve contributed to the long and distinguished history of one of Australia’s most supported Basketball teams.

Gathering at the Bayview Boulevard Hotel in the heart of the city, the team was represented by its leadership group – Director Stephen Dunn, General Manager David Wolf and Head Coach Ian “Moose” Robilliard. A selection of the current 2011/12 Kings players were also present, including Team Captain Julian Khazzouh, Aaron “The Beast” Bruce, Luke Martin, Kevin Ratzch and Jerai Grant.

David Wolf opened formalities by welcoming all guests and recognising the team and NBL sponsors, which included a strong shout out to iiNet who was represented by myself and Andrew Bathurst.

Ian “Moose” Robilliard took to the microphone and shared some hilarious stories of his time with the Sydney Kings and playing alongside some of the players who’ve become club legends. Moose then announced that Steve “Mr Magic” Carfino will be the latest honouree to join the elite group of Kings Legends. Carfino is now recognised alongside such players as Damian Keogh, Shane Heal, Bob Turner, Tim Morrissey and Mark Dalton.

All the legends will have their banners re-raised at this week’s game and some of them will take to the court in a pre-game exhibition match before the Kings take on the Cairns Taipans this week.

Moose did a short and poignant interview with Carfino who clearly felt honoured by the event. Moose continued to speak of Carfino’s playing days, the skills that earned him the title “Mr Magic” and personal stories that kept the crowd laughing and enthralled. Carfino also shared a great tale about how Robilliard, in his youth, could drink a schooner of beer whilst standing on his head, much to the joy of the current players.

At the end of formalities, Carfino posed for photographs with the current Kings Guard, Aaron “The Beast” Bruce, the player that has inherited his famous #11 jersey. Carfino spoke very highly of the new Kings #11 saying he thought Bruce was a dangerous player and would have a massive impact on the team this year.

Andrew and I spent the rest of the afternoon talking to the Kings players, legends and catching up for a beer with Coach Robilliard. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

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