Trailblazers: History of the WNBL MVP Award
March 21, 2012, 09:53 AM AEST


Two-time WNBL MVP Julie Nykiel, left, and inaugural WNBL MVP winner Karen Ogden were some of the biggest stars in the early years of the WNBL.

WNBL Frontpage News

On Monday night the who’s who of basketball will converge on the Crown Palladium in Melbourne to celebrate the season that was for the WNBL.

In the build-up to the celebrations we look back at the history of the WNBL awards and the greats that have shaped the game in this country and around the world.

Since Karen Ogden in 1982 there have been 21 players who have received the highest individual honour in Australian women’s basketball, the WNBL Most Valuable Player Award, and in a few short days we will see if a new name will join the exclusive list or whether another will solidify their reputation as one of the game’s greats.

The WNBL MVP has a long and unique history that has seen the award pass through the hands of some of Australia’s greatest players past and present.
Ogden was the first MVP with the St Kilda Saints back in the early 1980s, going on to share her second title in 1983 with three-time Olympian Robyn Maher.

From 1982 to 1989 the MVP award was a pass the parcel between Ogden (1982-83), Maher (1983, 87), Jayco Opals and Noarlunga Tigers legend Julie Nykiel (1984, 88) and the first three-time winner of the award Kathy Foster (1985-86, 89).

Debbie Slimmon broke that quartet’s MVP cartel in 1990, winning the first of her two MVPs (second in 1992) playing for Bulleen, with Melbourne Tiger Joanne Metcalfe’s award sandwiched between.

Look out for Part Two available on the WNBL Website tomorrow.

The Basketball Australia MVP Awards Night takes place on Monday 26 March at Crown Palladium, Melbourne.


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