20th Aniversary All-Star Team
The team was announced at the 20th Anniversary Gala Luncheon on the 15th of January 2012 at Jupiters Hotel and Casino Ballroom.
Clarence ‘The Elevator’ Tyson was one of the most exciting and talented players to ever run out for the Townsville Suns. His athletic ability earned him the ‘Elevator’ moniker and the crowd loved his high-flying antics and determination down the defensive end. A rebounding machine, Clarence amassed an incredible 1,064 rebounds for the club with an amazing average of 14.2 rebounds per game. Tyson’s partnership with import point guard Derek Rucker was one of the most lethal combinations in the NBL and both players earned swag of individual honours including club MVP’s and spots in the All NBL First Teams. Clarence enjoyed cult status during his time at the club and it’s hard to see him missing out on a spot.
Luke Schenscher is the only player in the All-Star team that still plays for the Townsville Crocodiles after the club announced he was returning to the Crocs for the 2015/16 season. This will be Schenscher’s second stint with the club after spending two seasons with the club during 2011-2013. His first stint with the Crocs was a memorable one. In only his second year with the club, Luke Schenscher has already made a massive impact at the Townsville Crocodiles. Recruited from the Championship winning Perth Wildcats in 2010, Luke had an outstanding first year for the Crocs and picked up the Kevin Sugars Medal as the club’s MVP. The talented 7-footer started his NBL career in his hometown of Adelaide with the 36ers and has also spent time playing in the NBA. After a successful collegiate career with Georgia Tech, the South Australian product had brief stints with the Chicago Bulls and the Portland Trailblazers before eventually returning home to play in the NBL. Enjoying some career best form during the Crocs run to the semi-finals last year, Luke is returning to form this season after missing the Crocs first seven games with injury and was an important piece to the Crocs puzzle in the 2011/12 season.
Pat Reidy joined the Crocs in 2000 and finished his illustrious 467-game NBL career at the club in 2005. Reidy picked up two club MVP awards during his time at the Crocs and was one of the greatest low post players in club history. Pat was never known for his athletic ability but his fierce determination and strong work ethic saw him play a major rule for the Crocs in their glory days of the early 00’s. The Crocs reached the semi finals or better in three of the five seasons Pat was here and he was a key cog in the team that made it to the 2001 Grand Final as well as being a part of the Crocs record 16-game winning streak the following season. A former Australian Boomer, Reidy averaged 15.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists during his time in a Crocodiles singlet. Reidy has also been a great servant to the Crocs from a management perspective. Reidy was the General Manager from 2012-2014 and along with Mark McGregor and Cam Whiting, were instrumental in saving the Townsville Crocodiles.
‘Slammin’ Sam Mackinnon was recruited to the club in their first season as the Crocodiles, with incoming Head Coach Ian Stacker able to lure the Australian Olympic player to Townsville. Sam was a crowd favourite at ‘The Swamp’ due to his explosive athleticism and played 73 games for the Crocs over three seasons. The club’s MVP in the 2000/01 season, Mackinnon and was also named in the All NBL First team after a standout season where he averaged 17.3 points and 8.6 rebounds. Sam played at several clubs before and after the Crocs and his stellar 459 game career marks him as one of the greatest NBL players in history.
Brad Newley was brilliant during his three seasons at the Crocs and picked up a swag of individual accolades across his 102 games as a Crocodile. The South Australian product played his debut season in 2004/05 with the Crocs and picked up the league’s Rookie of the Year and Best Sixth Man award in what is considered one of the greatest debut season in history. Newley is an excellent jump shooter and defender and often brought ‘The Swamp’ to life with a massive dunk or long three. After leaving the Crocs to ply his trade overseas, ‘Noodles’ was drafted in the second round of the NBA draft by the Houston Rockets before finding his way to the Greek A1 League. Newley has played for several big European clubs and currently represents Gran Canaria in the lucrative Spainish League. One of the most exciting young players in the club’s history.
John Rillie is one of the club’s great servants, spending five seasons at the club between 2005 and 2009. Lethal from long-range, Rillie is one of the greatest shooters the club has ever and hit 464 threes during his 168 games he played for the club. JR was an inspirational captain for the Crocs and won three club MVP awards in 2005, 2007 and 2008. Rillie also represented the Boomers at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and hit a career-high ten threes in a memorable win against the Perth Wildcats in their 2009 elimination final.
When discussing the greatest NBL players of all time, Robert Rose is a name that instantly springs to mind. ‘The ‘Magician’ played in the NBL from 1992 to 2007. Rose joined the Crocs in the 1998-99 season after spending time at several other NBL clubs, including the now defunct Canberra Cannons and South East Melbourne Magic. One of only three players in the Suns/Crocs Hall of Fame, Rose was nothing short of outstanding during his time in Townsville. The New York native won four club MVP’s as well as earning the NBL’s MVP award after his incredible 2001 season. In 2007, Rose was named in the Crocs Hall of Fame. His #21 has also been retired which hangs up in the building when the Crocs play.
Peter Crawford is the most capped player in the clubs history tallying up 292 games for the club. The Mt Isa product, started his career with the Crocs way back in 2000 and spent four years with the club until being snared by the Perth Wildcats for the 2005 season. PC improved drastically at the Wildcats, winning the NBL’s Most Improved Player Award for his breakout 2005 season. After leaving the Wildcats to return to Townsville, PC has again impressed with his perimeter shooting, strong defence and ability to hit clutch shots in pressure situations. He has been the Crocs most consistent performer this year, averaging over 17 points a game and shooting a career-high 47.7% from beyond the arc. He continued to play for the club until the end of the 2013-14 season.
In the Suns era from 1993 to 1998, the standout point guard is without a doubt Derek Rucker. The slick American import was an outstanding offensive talent and won four consecutive club MVP awards. His explosive pace and ability to penetrate at will saw him average an incredible 27.6 points. In addition to his scoring, Rucker was equally skilled at getting his teammates involved in the game and averaged 7.7 assists throughout his four years as a Townsville Sun. A regular in the all NBL First team, ‘the Pocket Rocket’ dominated the league during his time at Townsville.
One of Townsville’s greatest ever basketball products, Kelvin Robertson was always a crowd favourite during his time as a Crocodile. Kelvin played seven seasons for the club and his work ethic and determination was second to none during this time. Known for his three-point shooting, Kelvin could always be relied on to provide some energy and spark off the bench and his sportsmanship and general demeanour quickly made him a favourite amongst fans. Serious knee injuries in 2009 and 2010 cut Kelvin’s career short with the club and he retired one of the most popular players in club history. Kelvin is a fully-qualified pharmacist and still lives in Townsville with his young family. He is also an NBL commentator for all Townsville Crocodiles home games.
The Suns & Crocs 20th Anniversary All Stars Team was voted on by a panel of Basketball experts and broadcasters namley Kevin Sugars local legend and namesake of the Crocs MVP Medal, Antony Stewart from the Townsville Bulletin and Boti Nagy from the Adelaide Advertiser.