Former Freestone student in national hall of fame

WELL DONE: Ken Madsen after being inducted into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame.
WELL DONE: Ken Madsen after being inducted into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame. Basketball Australia

BASKETBALL: Former Warwick resident Ken Madsen has been inducted into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame.

The Madsen family lived at "Bannerest”, Freestone, and he went to Freestone State School and finished his education at Warwick State High School.

He joined the Commonwealth Bank in Warwick in 1955 and was transferred to Ingham at the age of 17 where he played his first basketball.

Madsen took up refereeing at the age of 19 and continued to referee in Rabaul in New Guinea where he was transferred by the bank.

He moved to Brisbane in 1962 and officiated at his first national championships, the women's, in Adelaide in October, 1962.

Madsen refereed at national level for four years before turning his attention to basketball administration.

"I formed the Brisbane Referees' Association and was the second president of the State Referees' Association,” he said.

"I was invited to be president of Basketball Queensland, a role I filled for nine years.”

In 1974, he was elected treasurer of Basketball Australia for 16 years and in 1976 was appointed to the legal commission of FIBA, the world governing body for basketball.

He was on the commission for 38 years, travelling overseas 70 times for meetings.

"Initially, the headquarters were in Munich and the world headquarters were then in Geneva,” he said.

Madsen said the decision which stood out in his mind was in 1990 when a proposition was put to the legal commission to admit professionals to the game.

"I sat in the meeting where the issue was first raised and the first Dream Team (USA) came out of that decision after being allowed to compete in the Olympics,” he said.

Prior to 1992, the United States Olympic team comprised college players.

"The change has made the sport grow, the standard of play has gone up incredibly,” he said.

Madsen has many relatives in the Warwick area, his brother Doug and sister Verlie live in Warwick and brother Roy is in Toowoomba.

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