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Andrew Gaze

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Andrew Gaze
Andrew gaze.JPG
Gaze at a Melbourne Tigers home game in 2011
Sydney Kings
PositionHead coach
LeagueNBL
Personal information
Born (1965-07-24) 24 July 1965 (age 53)
Melbourne, Victoria
NationalityAustralian
Listed height201 cm (6 ft 7 in)
Listed weight95 kg (209 lb)
Career information
High schoolAlbert Park College
(Melbourne, Victoria)
CollegeSeton Hall (1988–1989)
NBA draft1989 / Undrafted
Playing career1984–2005
PositionShooting guard
Number10
Coaching career2016–present
Career history
As player:
1984–2005Melbourne Tigers
1991–1992Udine
1994Washington Bullets
1995Apollon Patras
1999San Antonio Spurs
As coach:
2016–2017Melbourne Tigers
2016–presentSydney Kings
Career highlights and awards
FIBA Hall of Fame as player

Andrew Barry Casson Gaze, AM (born 24 July 1965) is an Australian former professional basketball player and current head coach of the Sydney Kings of the National Basketball League (NBL). He has been described as the greatest player Australia has ever produced.[1][2] Gaze played every season for the Melbourne Tigers, between 1985 and 2005 and won the league's MVP award on seven occasions. He also guided the Tigers to two NBL championships, in 1993 and 1997, and was named an All-NBL first team member every year between 1986 and 2000, a feat matched by no other player in NBL history.

Gaze led the senior Australian national team, the Boomers, to five Summer Olympic Games – including as the flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and he was also the Australian Team Captain. He was inducted into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004, and the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2005, after becoming a member of the Order of Australia in 2002. In 2013, he joined his father, Lindsay, in the FIBA Hall of Fame, to become just the third Australian inductee.[3][4] Two Australian basketball awards have been named in Gaze's honour: the NBL MVP award is named the Andrew Gaze Trophy, and the Australian International Player of the Year award is named the Gaze Medal.

Early life and family[edit]

Gaze was born in Melbourne, Victoria, the son of Lindsay and Margaret Gaze, and has an older sister, Janet. Gaze is also the nephew of former Australian Opals coach Tony Gaze and the cousin of Mark Gaze, who played 182 games in the NBL from 1983–1991 and represented Australia at the 1982 FIBA World Championship. He is also the second cousin of Canberra Capitals guard Kate Gaze, the daughter of Mark Gaze and former WNBL player Michelle O'Connor.

Gaze grew up at Albert Park Basketball Stadium, the home of the Victorian Basketball Association (VBA), with his father the general manager of the VBA at the time. After graduating from Albert Park College, Gaze pursued a professional basketball career and attended Victoria University in Melbourne.

Professional career[edit]

In 1984, Gaze joined the Melbourne Tigers of the National Basketball League as an 18-year-old. His first season with the Tigers saw him win the NBL Rookie of the Year Award after averaging an impressive 29.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.6 steals in 24 games.[5] By 1986, he made his first All-NBL First Team selection. He would go on to earn first-team honours in 15 straight seasons (1986–2000).

In the 1987 NBL season, Gaze set a still standing (as of 2017–18) NBL record for average points per game in a season when he averaged 44.1 points, breaking the previous record of 39.5 ppg set by Al Green of the West Adelaide Bearcats in 1984. This was despite the Tigers finishing on the bottom of the 1987 NBL ladder with a 3–23 record. Such was Gaze's dominance for the Tigers that while he averaged 44.1 ppg (in 20 games), the Tigers themselves only managed 101.3 ppg for the season. During 1987, Gaze had one 60-point game (against the Newcastle Falcons) and another five times he scored over 50 points. His dominance on the scoreboard wasn't just limited to scoring against other poorly performed teams. He twice scored 54 points against the Phil Smyth led Canberra Cannons who finished fifth; he averaged 49 points in two games against the 1986 champions (and 1987 minor premiers) Adelaide; he scored 54 points against eventual champions Brisbane; and scored 52 in the final game of the season against North Melbourne who finished sixth.

Following the 1988 NBL season, Gaze, who was spotted by talent scouts while playing for Australia at the 1988 Olympics, moved to the United States after being recruited to play college basketball for Seton Hall University. During the 1988–89 season, Gaze played in 38 games for the Seton Hall Pirates, averaging 13.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.[6] After completing his season at Seton Hall with an 80–79 overtime loss to the Michigan Wolverines in the NCAA Championship Game which was played in front of 39,187 fans at the Kingdome in Seattle, Gaze returned to Australia and re-joined the Tigers for the 1989 NBL season.[7]

Not known for being an outstanding athlete, Gaze's heavy scoring in the NBL was due to exceptional shooting, including from three-point range. A crowd favourite to the Tigers faithful, Gaze was a front runner in the league's resurgence during the 1990s, as he and American import Lanard Copeland combined to form a formidable backcourt and guided the Tigers to two championships in 1993 and 1997.[8] Playing under his father with the Tigers, Gaze assured the team were perpetual finalists.

In addition to playing in the NBL, Gaze spent multiple seasons overseas during the 1990s. In 1991, Gaze became the first Australian to play professionally in Europe, with the Italian League club side, Udine. In a six-month stint in Italy, he averaged over 30 points per game.[9] In March 1994, Gaze returned to the United States and signed with the NBA's Washington Bullets. In seven games for the Bullets during the 1993–94 NBA season, he averaged 3.1 points per game. In early 1995, he moved to Greece and played half a season for the Greek Basket League club Apollon Patras.[10] He had another short stint in the NBA during the lockout-shortened 1998–99 season, this time with the San Antonio Spurs. He received very little court time for a stacked Spurs team that included guards Mario Elie, Avery Johnson, Antonio Daniels and Steve Kerr. He appeared in just 19 games for the Spurs during the regular season and was inactive for the entire playoff run which saw the Spurs win their first NBA championship.[11]

In his later years, Gaze still managed to score at a high clip for the Tigers, averaging over 19 points per game in each of his last four NBL seasons. Following the 2004–05 NBL season, Gaze announced his retirement from the NBL. In 20 seasons with the Tigers, he played a total of 612 games and recorded 18,908 points at an average of 30.9 points per game.[5]

National team career[edit]

On the international stage, Gaze forged his reputation as one of Australia's finest products, appearing at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, as a 19-year-old. In 2000, he became (jointly with American Teresa Edwards) the third basketball player to compete at five Olympics, after Puerto Rican Teófilo Cruz and Brazilian Oscar Schmidt. That year, Gaze was the flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics, and he was also the Australian Team Captain. At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, he led the Boomers to their best Olympic performance, a fourth-placed finish, with a 5–3 record.[12]

Gaze also competed in four FIBA World Cups with the Boomers, as he played in more than 280 matches for Australia. Gaze is the second best all-time scorer in both major worldwide national team competitions, after Oscar Schmidt. He is the second all-time scorer, behind only Schmidt, in both Summer Olympic Games history, and FIBA World Cup history.[13]

Coaching career[edit]

On 8 December 2015, Gaze was appointed head coach of the Melbourne Tigers SEABL team for the 2016 season.[14][15] Gaze's cousin, Mark,[16] was appointed the Tigers' assistant coach.

On 2 April 2016, Gaze was appointed head coach of the Sydney Kings on a three-year deal, joining a revitalised franchise with a new general manager, a new owner and new home venue.[17]

In June 2017, Gaze joined the Indiana Pacers as a member of their coaching staff for the Orlando Summer League.[18]

In February 2018, the Kings confirmed Gaze as their head coach for the 2018–19 season.[19]

Off the court[edit]

After retiring from playing professionally, Gaze became a media personality and began commentating NBL games for Network Ten and Fox Sports. He is also a presenter on Channel Seven's Guide to the Good Life and on Bounce on Fox Footy. In 2006, he appeared in season five of Dancing with the Stars.[20]

In March 2016, Gaze became an ambassador for the non-for-profit organisation The Beehive Foundation, a charity that runs free programs to develop resilience and coping mechanisms for youth via junior sporting organisations.[21][22]

Gaze and his wife Melinda have four children; Courtney, Phoebe, Annie and Mason. In 2014, he was named Australian Father of the Year by children's charity The Shepherd Centre.[23]

Records, honours and awards[edit]

Honour roll[edit]

NBL career: 1984–2005
NBL Championships: 2 (1993, 1997)
NBL Grand Final appearances: 4 (1992, 1993, 1996, 1997)
NBL Most Valuable Player: 7 (1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998)
All-NBL First Team: 15 (1986–2000)
NBL Rookie of the Year: 1984
Gaze Medal: 6 (1990, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000)
Australian Basketball Hall of Fame: 2004
Sport Australia Hall of Fame: 2005
FIBA Hall of Fame: 2013

Career statistics[edit]

NBL[edit]

NBL Championship
Year Team G GS MIN PTS AVG. FG FGA PCT. 3–FG 3–FGA PCT. FT FTA PCT. REB AST STL BLK TO PF
1984 Melbourne Tigers 24 24 0.00 699 29.1 11.7 18.6 .576 0.5 1.6 .325 5.1 7.2 .724 6.7 4.1 1.6 0.3 2.3 3.8
1985 Melbourne Tigers 18 18 0.00 547 30.4 11.8 23.2 .51 2.0 6.1 .336 4.6 6.4 .709 6.7 4.4 2.1 0.3 4.9 3.9
1986 Melbourne Tigers 25 25 0.00 922 36.9 13.8 26.1 .529 2.1 5.5 .381 7.08 8.8 .805 7.3 4.4 2.1 0.2 4.0 3.4
1987 Melbourne Tigers 20 20 47.7 882 44.1 15.9 30.2 .526 3.4 8.6 .393 8.9 11 .809 8.2 5.8 2.5 0.1 4.8 3.3
1988 Melbourne Tigers 24 24 46.8 886 36.9 13.5 26.3 .523 4.1 9.5 .432 5.7 7.2 .792 6.3 4.7 2.3 0.6 3.7 3.0
1989 Melbourne Tigers 27 27 45.7 931 34.5 12.4 23 .539 3.8 9.7 .401 5.7 6.9 .834 5.3 7.2 2.4 0.8 4.2 3.9
1990 Melbourne Tigers 22 22 0.00 828 37.6 13.6 23.7 .575 3.5 9.0 .385 6.8 7.8 .873 4.8 6.9 2.6 0.3 4.0 3.2
1991 Melbourne Tigers 28 28 46.4 1086 38.8 13.5 24.3 .554 3.1 9.3 .333 8.6 9.9 .871 4.4 6.0 2.7 0.4 4.5 3.8
1992 Melbourne Tigers 32 32 46.1 1082 33.8 11.2 22.1 .508 2.9 8.8 .331 8.3 9.6 .865 4.6 6.3 2.7 0.3 5.0 3.4
1993 Melbourne Tigers 33 33 45.8 1056 32.0 10.6 20.8 .511 3.1 8.0 .391 7.5 8.7 .858 4.6 6.3 2.7 0.3 5.0 3.4
1994 Melbourne Tigers 30 30 47 1001 33.4 10.9 21.2 .515 2.5 7.1 .321 9.2 10.1 .905 4.8 7.2 2.4 0.2 5.7 3.3
1995 Melbourne Tigers 29 29 46.8 983 33.9 11.3 22 .513 3.1 8.5 .361 8.1 9.1 .898 4.2 8.0 2.3 0.5 4.5 3.3
1996 Melbourne Tigers 35 35 46.6 1089 31.1 10 19.8 .506 3.1 8.7 .358 7.9 8.7 .905 5.3 8.1 1.7 0.5 4.7 3.1
1997 Melbourne Tigers 35 35 47.9 1080 30.9 10.4 20.1 .520 4.0 10.4 .390 5.8 6.7 .857 4.6 6.7 1.4 0.4 4.5 3.5
1998 Melbourne Tigers 32 32 47.5 1007 31.5 10.6 21.3 .497 3.9 10.5 .375 6.2 7.0 .893 4.6 6.5 1.4 0.2 3.7 3.0
1998–99 Melbourne Tigers 17 17 47.6 569 30.9 11.4 21.3 .534 4.4 11.1 .421 5.9 6.6 .893 4.6 5.5 2.2 0.1 3.6 2.4
1999–2000 Melbourne Tigers 31 31 47.2 904 30.9 9.5 19.6 .488 3.0 9.0 .344 6.9 7.8 .881 5.7 6.5 1.5 0.2 3.7 3.0
2000–01 Melbourne Tigers 28 28 46.4 816 29.1 9.4 18.5 .508 3.0 8.6 .357 7.2 7.8 .914 6.3 5.8 0.9 0.2 4.8 3.9
2001–02 Melbourne Tigers 24 24 36.6 458 19.1 6 13.1 .457 1.6 6.2 .265 5.4 6.1 .884 4.0 5.0 0.7 0.5 3.3 2.9
2002–03 Melbourne Tigers 29 29 42.1 640 22.1 6.6 14.2 .469 2.5 7.9 .346 6.0 6.7 .893 4.0 4.7 1.1 0.5 4.2 3.6
2003–04 Melbourne Tigers 35 35 38.8 746 21.3 7 13.6 .514 2.5 6.9 .364 4.7 5.2 .902 3.3 3.5 0.9 0.4 2.8 2.8
2004–05 Melbourne Tigers 34 34 35.1 696 22.1 6.6 13.6 .484 2.3 6.8 .348 4.8 5.8 .829 3.1 3.1 0.8 0.3 2.4 2.4
Career 612 612 38.7 18.908 30.9 10.5 20.4 51.8 3.0 8.1 .365 6.7 7.8 .860 5.1 5.8 1.8 0.4 4.1 3.3

NBA[edit]

NBA Championship
Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1993–94 Washington 7 0 10.0 .471 .500 1.000 1.0 .7 .3 .1 3.1
1998–99 San Antonio 19 0 3.1 .320 .313 .000 .3 .3 .1 .1 1.1
Career 26 0 4.9 .381 .375 1.000 .5 .4 .2 .1 1.7

College[edit]

Year Team G GS MIN PTS AVG. FG FGA PCT. 3–FG 3–FGA PCT. FT FTA PCT. REB AST STL BLK TO PF
1988–89 Seton Hall 38 37 32.6 516 13.6 5.5 8.8 .509 2.5 5.8 .425 2.2 3.0 .726 4.5 2.8 2.9 2.1 0.4 1.3

Bibliography[edit]

Contributor[edit]

  • Gaze, Andrew (2007). "Contributor". Laugh Even Louder!. By Camp Quality. Gosford, New South Wales: Scholastic Australia Pty Limited. ISBN 978-1-74169-022-4.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Scanlan, Alex (25 August 2015). "He set records galore in the NBL but has Andrew Gaze been usurped as our best ever basketballer?". FoxSports.com. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  2. ^ "Q & A WITH ANDREW GAZE". NBL.com.au. 7 April 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b ANDREW GAZE INDUCTED INTO FIBA HALL OF FAME
  4. ^ Basketball legend ANDREW GAZE inducted into FIBA Hall Of Fame
  5. ^ a b Player statistics for Andrew Gaze
  6. ^ Andrew Gaze College Stats
  7. ^ Gaze Is Gone But Questions Arise
  8. ^ Andrew Gaze and Lanard Copeland
  9. ^ Andrew Gaze – Music Theatre Australia
  10. ^ Andrew Gaze playing in Greece
  11. ^ Andrew Gaze NBA Stats
  12. ^ Andrew Gaze Olympic Stats
  13. ^ Australian Olympic Committee: Andrew Gaze
  14. ^ ANDREW GAZE ANNOUNCED AS MELBOURNE TIGERS HEAD COACH
  15. ^ Andrew Gaze to coach Melbourne Tigers in SEABL but NBL dreams remain
  16. ^ Australian basketballers making big impression in US college system
  17. ^ SYDNEY KINGS ANNOUNCE ANDREW GAZE AS NEW HEAD COACH
  18. ^ GAZE JOINS INDIANA PACERS
  19. ^ Sydney Kings confirm Andrew Gaze as head coach for 2018-19 NBL season
  20. ^ Gaze bounces out of show
  21. ^ "Ambassadors". BeehiveFoundation.org.au. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  22. ^ "We are extremely excited to announce that Basketball Legend and media..." Facebook.com. 22 March 2016. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  23. ^ Basketball legend Andrew Gaze named 2014 Australian Father of the Year
  24. ^ "#NBLRANK THE GREATEST PLAYERS OF ALL TIME – SHOOTING GUARD". aussiehoopla.com. 15 September 2016. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  25. ^ "NBL ALL-TIME STATISTICS". aussiehoopla.com. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  26. ^ Ward, Roy (8 February 2018). "Andrew Gaze, Mark Bradtke head NBL 40th anniversary team". smh.com.au. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  27. ^ Camp Quality (2007). Laugh Even Louder!. Gosford, New South Wales: Scholastic Australia Pty Limited. p. 12. ISBN 978-1-74169-022-4.

External links[edit]