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Suns History 1993-1998

1993 (4 & 22)1993 Team

00 Paul Simpson

6 Peter Pollock

7 David ‘Razor’ Blades

8 Steven Boyd

9 Tonny Jensen

10 Rimas Kurtinaitis

11 Jason Cameron

13 Darren Smith

15 Adam Simmons

20 Brian Andrews

21 Graham Kubank (c)

22 Keiron Mitchelhill

24 Lucas Agrums

25 Ricky ‘Rainman’ Jones (MVP)

Coach: Mark Bragg

Assistants: Tim O’Melia & Barry Horner

Manager: Kevin Sugars

Interesting facts:Townsville Suns 1993 Score

Lucas Agrams scored the first ever points for Townsville in the NBL from the free-throw line and Graham Kubank scored the first field basket after that which happened to be a three-pointer.

Rimas Kurtiniatis scored the first points at home.  The first few games had to played on the road to give the Entertainment Centre a bit more time to finish being built.

Ricky Jones kicked the Suns off in style scoring 47 points against the Newcastle Falcons.  This is still the 4th best debut in NBL history.  Jones then scored a massive 53 points on the 23rd of September which is still the highest score by an individual for Townsville.Ricky Jones 2

The Suns first ever win was over the Newcastle Falcons on the 14th of May 1993.

Adam Simmons only played 3 games after Rimas Kurtinaitis was granted a release to play for Real Madrid in Spain. ‘Bean’ was a legend of the Suns/Heat in the State League.

Steven Boyd was signed to a $1 contract.  He is Townsville born and bred and is currently the assistant coach for the Townsville Heat.  Keiron Mitchelhill is another local legend, who came up through the local junior ranks.

Tonny Jensen was released from the club mid-way through the season for a number of incidents.

Paul Simpson’s signing to the Suns was somewhat of a surprise as it had been 2036 days since his last game in the NBL for Hobart in 1987.

Lucas Agrums is one of a handful of players who have won a championship one year only to find themselves at a different club the next year and finishing last(SE Magic 92, Townsville 93).

 

1994 (6 & 20)1994 Roster

4 Brendan Legassick

5 Howard Chambers

6 Cameron Dickinson

7 David ‘Razor’ Blades

8 Steven Boyd

11 Jason Cameron

20 Brian Andrews

21 Graham Kubank (c)

22 Keiron Mitchelhill

24 Lucas Agrums

25 Ricky ‘Rainman’ Jones

30 Darryl ‘DJ’ Johnson (MVP)

33 Jeff Warren

44 Simon O’Donnell

Coach: Mark Bragg

Assistant: Bryan Allen

Manager: Kevin Sugars

Interesting facts:

Jeff Warren was released after the coaching staff decided to get an american Point Guard.  Howard Chambers only played 1 game in Newcastle, in which he has a league leading 7 assists.

The Suns signed US point guard, Darryl Johnson, or DJ as we named him.  He eventually won the MVP of the season which should have meant a contract for the next year… until we obtained the signature of former MVP, Derek Rucker for the 1995 season.

Brian Andrews was a spark plug off the bench with his 3 point shooting, leading the league in percentage for most of the year. He was released at the end of the season by coaching staff.  Bragg always said that that was his hardest decision and biggest mistake of his coaching career.

Lucas Agrums became the first Suns player to represent Australia, making the U23 Australian Team.

Shane Heal scored a career high 61 (including 12 3’s) against the Suns on the 23rd of September, which is still the highest score against Townsville.

The low point of this season came on the 14th of July in Melbourne, where the SE Melbourne Magic beat the Suns 160 to 104.  That is our biggest losing margin and also the highest score by an opposition team.Ricky Jones

1995 (9 & 17)1995

4 Carl Ward

5 Derek Rucker (c) (MVP)

6 Cameron Dickinson

7 David ‘Razor’ Blades

8 Michael Pennisi

9 Shane Froling

11 Jason Cameron

20 Glenn Stump

22 Keiron Mitchelhill

23 Matt Flinn

24 Lucas Agrums

44 Simon O’Donnell

54 Clarence ‘The Elevator’ Tyson

Coach: Mark Bragg

Assistant: David Lindstrom

Manager: Kevin Sugars

Interesting facts:

The signing of 1990 NBL MVP, Derek Rucker, was a coup for the club in just our 3rd year.  He finished the season with the highest points per game and assists per game for a Townsville player – 30.3 & 8.3 in 26 games.

More locals got their chance in the NBL, Carl Ward (Burdekin), Michael Pennisi (Silkwood) and naturalised Suns State League import, Glenn Stump.  Stump was a superstar for many years in the SBL and once scored 9 points in 10secs.

Clarence ‘The Elevator’ Tyson captured the hearts of Suns fans for his hard work, determination and high flying dunks.  He was dubbed ‘The Elevator’ after someone saw him dunk in the warm ups… he looked like he went up and up and up like an elevator.  His average of 14.7 rebounds per game is the best ever for a Townsville player.

Tyson’s debut of 38 points was the 11th highest debut score in NBL history.

Wollongong native, Matt Flinn, was the first player to break a backboard dunking at the practice courts.  This was more surprising because no-one even knew he could dunk!

Derek Rucker won the Player of the Month for July & Mark Bragg won the Coach of the Month, also in July.  Jason Cameron was selected to the Future Forces game at the NBL All-Star Game in Adelaide.  Derek Rucker and Clarence Tyson played in the All-Star game for the North team.

1996 (9 & 17)1996

5 Derek Rucker (c)

6 Cameron Dickinson

7 David ‘Razor’ Blades

8 Michael Pennisi

9 Shane Froling

11 Jason Cameron

15 Wayne Cowan

22 Keiron Mitchelhill

30 Matt Alexander

33 Travis Lindstrom

35 Chris Hall

51 Grant Kruger

54 Clarence ‘The Elevator’ Tyson (MVP)

Coach: Mark Bragg

Assistant: David Lindstrom

Manager: Kevin Sugars

Interesting facts:

When Shane Froling and Grant Kruger played against the Suns, the fans loved to hate them, but when they joined forces to become Townsville’s ‘Bruise Brothers’ they became fan favourites!

The addition of former Wollongong head coach, Dave Lindstrom, was instrumental in the team moving forward towards the playoffs.

Long time Suns fans will never forget Derek Rucker returning from a calf injury just minutes before a game against the North Melbourne Giants after warming up insecrecy at the Suns club.  The surprise return from injury worked as the Suns went on to win the game.

Cameron Dickinson won the Player of the Month for May.  Derek Rucker and Clarence Tyson played in the All-Star game for the North team. Tyson led the league in rebounds with 14.1 per game.

1997 (14 & 16)

19975 Derek Rucker (c) (MVP)

8 Michael Pennisi

9 Shane Froling

11 Jason Cameron

13 Tony Deambrosis

14 Brad Davidson

22 Keiron Mitchelhill

33 Travis Lindstrom

35 Chris Hall

40 Chris Sneed

42 Simon ‘Wild Thing’ Kerle

51 Grant Kruger

52 David Pennisi

54 Clarence ‘The Elevator’ Tyson

Coach: Mark Bragg

Assistant: David Lindstrom

Manager: Kevin Sugars

Interesting  facts:

This was easily the most disappointing season in our short histroy.  With just 5 games to go and needing 1 more win to secure our first ever playoff appearance, Clarence Tyson went down with a serious knee injury in Canberra.

Chris Sneed was signed from the Cairns Marlins in the State League and only played 3 games.

We won more games than ever before and had our most experienced and talented team ever. The signing of ‘bad boy’ Simon Kerle was another player that fans loved to hate before, but grew to love.

The signing of young point guard, Brad Davidson, was the start of a 182 game career in Townsville.

Mark Bragg was named Coach of the Month for the first month of the season and Derek Rucker was awarded Player of the Month for both July and August.

Both Derek Rucker and Clarence Tyson were named in the All NBL First team and the All-Star team. Rucker was named MVP of the All-Star Game.

Rucker finished the season 2nd in PPG (25.9) and Tyson 1st in Rebounds with 13.7.

1998 (12 & 18)1998

5 Derek Rucker (c) (MVP)

8 Michael Pennisi

11 Jason Cameron

13 Tony Deambrosis

14 Brad Davidson

22 Keiron Mitchelhill

25 Ray Owes

33 Travis Lindstrom

35 Chris Hall

42 Simon ‘Wild Thing’ Kerle

51 Grant Kruger

52 David Pennisi

Coach: Mark Bragg

Assistants: David Lindstrom & Shane Froling

Manager: Kevin Sugars

Interesting  facts:

This was to be the last year of the Suns, Winter NBL Season and also the last for Head Coach and founder, Mark Bragg.

Shane Froling moved from on court role to be an assistant coach along side Dave Lindstrom.

Ray Owes joined the team to replace Clarence Tyson after playing in 24 games for the Golden State Warriors in the NBA.  He was easily the most highly credentialled American import we had ever signed.

Jason Cameron was the only player to have played in all six seasons as the Townsville Suns.  Out of a total of 164 games, Cameron played in 151 games.  Keiron Mitchelhill was a member of every Suns team but did not play a game during the 1994 season.

Derek Rucker and Ray Owes were named to the All NBL 1st Team.  Rucker was awarded the ‘Good Hands Award’.  Once again he finished 1st in assists with 7APG and 2nd in scoring with 27.5PPG, including a spectacular 51 points (including 11 3’s – most ever) on the 10th of March, which is 2nd highest for a Townsville player.

Ray Owes finished 1st in Rebounds per game with 12.6.