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Olympic legends for Central past players reunion

Tuesday, 10th August, 2010

* Olympic basketball star Rachael Sporn was pictured during a visit to the city. * Olympic basketball star Rachael Sporn was pictured during a visit to the city.

Olympic legends Phil Smyth and Rachael Sporn will be the guest speakers at this Sunday's Central Past Players Reunion.

Smyth is a legend of Australian sport, making his name and earning his reputation on the basketball court.
Nicknamed "The General" for his ability to control the game, he played an astonishing 365 games for Australia, captaining his country for 14 years, and wearing the green and gold at four Olympics and five World Championships.
Domestically The General won three National Basketball League Championships as a player with the Canberra Cannons and three as head coach of the Adelaide 36ers.
Smyth showed his ability to perform on the big stage by winning the finals series MVP in 1988 with the Cannons.
With a remarkable record like this, it's no wonder that he has been inducted into the Australian Hall of Fame and he has an Order of Australia Medal for services to sport.
Due to his vast experience Smyth is in regular contact with a number of national and international sporting superstars, offering advice and help when sought.
With a remarkable trail of achievements and statistics, The General was sought after for media comments and opinions concerning all things basketball.
He has worked for Fox Sports, Channel 7 and various radio stations and in his time in the media worked with broadcasters such as Bruce McAvaney, John Casey and Drew Morphett.
As well as playing on the big stage, Smyth has also worked on the big stage, covering events such as the Sydney Olympics and Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
As well as KG & The General, Smyth writes for The Advertiser and appears on Channel 7.
A former Captain of the Australian Opals, Rachael Sporn's list of sporting achievements make impressive reading.
Just a few include the Australian national team since 1989, the World Championship Team in 1990 and 1994 and the team's Bronze Medal in 1998.
However, her proudest moments have been with Australian Olympic "Opals" basketball team - which won a bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Games and silver at the 2000 Sydney Games.
Sporn typifies the Australian sporting hero. Like every hero the story must start somewhere; for Rachael her journey to become one of Australia's most recognisable female basketball players began in the Victorian countryside as a junior at the age of nine.
Success has not just followed Rachael internationally, but also locally where she has become the face of South Australian women's basketball as captain of the Adelaide Quit Lightning Team. Praise too has echoed across the nation when she was named the WNBL's Most Valuable Player in 1996 and 1997 and her induction into the Australian Sporting Hall of Fame in 1996.
The many years of hard effort and toil for Rachael has culminated in her recruitment to the Detroit Shock in the American WNBA for the 1998, 1999 and 2001 seasons.
The level of competition in America is intense but Rachael has always risen to the challenge. Perhaps Rachael's success is due to her passion for sport, not content just to play sport, taking on the rigors of university at Underdale College doing Secondary Physical Education and Mathematics.
Anyone with an interest in football or basketball is encouraged to attend. Both quests will impart their knowledge on what it takes to make it to the elite level in any chosen sport.
Doors will open at 11am at the Central Football Club with tickets available at the door.

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