Charles Ryan Memorial

The basketball and wheelchair basketball world is mourning the passing of an outstanding contributor to our sports following the news that Charles Ryan passed away on Saturday morning, Sept 3rd 2011.

Charles was the Australian Men’s Coach in 1984 and 1986 and coached the NSW team from 1983 to 1987.

He was one of those rare people who made a significant difference. He dramatically lifted the standard of play in wheelchair basketball in Australia. Many players of that era owe their careers to Charlie. He was the first coach to make a concentrated focus on chair skills. He introduced intensive, wheelchair specific drills for all of the basic skills of this sport. He taught Australia players to defend with skill. He showed us what was possible in wheelchair play.

The dramatic rise in Australia's standard of play and, as a consequence, Australian wheelchair basketball's consistently high world rankings in the ensuing decades, all started with Charlie.

With the formation of the NWBL in 1988 the grand final trophy was named after him. That trophy has been eagerly fought for each season since.

Before moving down to Melbourne Charles had a long history with NSW Basketball. He commenced his playing career in metropolitan Sydney playing firstly with Western Suburbs Basketball Association and then completing his playing career, becoming a player, coach and administrator for his beloved Parramatta Wildcats Basketball Association.

After transferring to Melbourne, Ryan became a doyen of the Dandenong basketball program. He was the President of the Association as well as being heavily involved in junior basketball and the development of many of Victoria’s young stars as an outstanding coach.

While at Dandenong he led their WNBL program for many years and was on the WNBL Board. He was also on the Basketball Australia High Performance Commission for the past two years.

We extend our sincere condolences to his wife Colleen, and his children Caitlin, Nathan and Bianca on the loss of their husband and father.


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