• Michele Timms at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Before Liz Cambage, before Penny Taylor and even before Lauren Jackson, there was Michele Timms and the Opals legend is set to be inducted in the FIBA Hall of Fame.
Ann Odong, Presented by

Sydney Morning Herald, FIBA
14 Jun 2016 - 11:30 AM  UPDATED 14 Jun 2016 - 11:30 AM

Three years after she was first nominated in 2013, Australian basketball legend Michele Timms has been induced into the FIBA International Basketball Federation Hall of Fame. 

Despite the huge numbers of talented female basketballers produced, Timms becomes the first Australian female player to be inducted.

"It (the hall of fame nomination) is really special and I'm a bit lost for words about it," Timms said in an interview with the SMH.

"FIBA is the head of basketball in the world and to be inducted to the hall of fame is really overwhelming."

The 50 year old joins venerated names Andrew and Lindsay Gaze, coach Jan Stirling and administrator Al Ramsay.

Timms incredible close to two decade career included 264 appearances for the Opals including a silver medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, 285 WNBL matches including five Championships, four FIFA World Championship appearances and three Olympic Games appearances. 

Since retirement Timms has turned her hand to coaching and is currently the assistant coach for the Chinese women's national team.  An early morning phone call in China is how the Victorian found out about her nomination.  

"I couldn't remember if it was a dream or not, so I had to go back through the emails which they had sent to check that it wasn't a dream.

"It was a huge surprise, a massive honour, and I'm humbled by it."

As well as a legend of the WNBL, Timms also left her footprint on basketball overseas and in 1989, she became the first Australian (male or female) to play professional basketball internationally after signing for German side Lotus München.  

Timms also became part of history in 1996 when she played in the first season of the WNBA with the Phoenix Mercury helping the Mercury to the finals.  Upon her retirement in 2001, Timms' "no. 7" jersey was retired by the Mercury, only the 2nd jersey ever retired by the WNBA.  

"The WNBA is in its 20th season and yesterday I was watching a video of Penny Taylor talking about the league, how special it is and what a good job the people who came before her have done," Timms said.

"I really enjoy hearing the players I see as the younger generation speak about those who came before."

The 2016 class of inductees include retired NBA commissioner David Stern (USA), two-time NBA championship winner Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria/USA), Panagiotis Fasoulas (Greece), Manuel Raga (Mexico), Juan Antonio San Epifanio (Spain), coach Jorge Canavesi (Argentina) and former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch (posthumous, Spain).

The Hall of Fame ceremony will be in Switzerland in late August.


Michele Timms' Achievements


  • 264 matches for the Opals
  • 4 World Championships appearances – 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998
  • 3 Olympics Games appearances – 1988, 1996, 2000
  • Captained the Opals to first Olympic silver medal at Sydney 2000


  • 285 WNBL matches and five Championships – 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1992
  • 7x WNBL All Star – 1988–92, 1994, 1996
  • WNBA finalist with Phoenix Mercury – 1996

Awards and inductions

  • Basketball Australia Merit Award – 1991
  • 2x Basketball Australia International Player of the Year – 1994, 1996
  • Sport Australia Hall of Fame - 2003
  • Basketball Australia Hall of Fame - 2006
  • Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame - 2008.

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