Maccabi NSW Basketball Club president Brad Rosen has always had purple and yellow flowing through his veins.
From being a talented junior hoopster in the City of Sydney Basketball Association competition who idolised the Sydney Kings since they were established in 1988, to pulling on their iconic playing strip for the first time in 1995, Rosen went on to play 99 NBL games for them, spanning five seasons, and even served a stint as captain.
As of last Sunday, he is an immensely proud owner of a Sydney Kings ‘Ring of Honour’, becoming just the third inductee of what is effectively the club’s hall of fame, after Tom Garlepp and Ben Knight.
In a moment that gave him “goosebumps” – in front of his family and 14,232 fans during the half-time break in the televised NBL Heritage Round match against the New Zealand Breakers at the ‘Kingdome’ (Qudos Bank Arena) – Rosen received the ring during a special on-court presentation.
He told The AJN the following day, “It was an absolutely amazing moment for me and my family, and to top it off, there was a full house at the game – I believe the largest crowd at an NBL game this season – so there was a great atmosphere in the Kingdome.”
Of being awarded a Sydney Kings Ring of Honour, he added, “I probably feel a bit shocked still, to be honest, but also so humbled.”
On the eve of the presentation, in an interview posted on the Kings’ website, Rosen reflected how “this club means everything to me, and all I ever wanted was to be a part of it”.
“From wishing I was one of those [Kings] players – to then go on and play for them, win a championship [as an assistant coach], and now doing commentary … it’s a hugely special honour [to be inducted], and one I’m still trying to wrap my head around.
“My favourite memory [of his playing days] is the teammates you went to battle with each and every day – one of my best friends to this day is still Bruce Bolden – and then there are guys like Dean Uthoff, Mark Dalton, Leon Trimmingham and Damian Keogh … and I’m thinking I’m not worthy to be around these guys, and the next thing I know, I’m on their team!
“It was a phenomenal part of my life, and a dream come true.”
Rosen added the presentation was extra special because his parents, his wife – “who has supported me from day one” – and his children, “who love basketball” and currently play for Maccabi NSW Basketball Club junior teams, were there to share the moment with him.
During his playing career, Rosen scored 410 points for the Kings, made 105 rebounds, 149 assists and 48 steals, and he had a free-throw percentage of 73.7.
Kings historian Matt McQuade said Rosen was nicknamed ‘Lightning’, and “thanks to his blazing speed, a tireless work ethic, and an intensely competitive nature, Brad quickly became a quality point guard, and a fan favourite”.
“He even had a group of fans at the old Sydney Entertainment Centre create the ‘Brad Rosen Stand’, and a website dedicated to his exploits.”
As Maccabi NSW Basketball Club president for the past few seasons, Rosen has overseen rapid growth, with membership reaching more than 400 by the end of last year.
The number of girls playing basketball for Maccabi shot up from just 12 in 2019, to 93 now.
In his end-of-year president’s report, Rosen said that growth “is testament to not only the great coaches we’ve managed to recruit and develop, but the volunteers that have put their hands up to help drive this club forward, including committee members and team managers”.
On social media last weekend, Maccabi NSW Basketball Club wished Rosen “massive congratulations [for] an incredible achievement [of receiving a Kings Ring of Honour], recognising his continued support for our growing basketball community”.