The New Zealand Basketball community is mourning the passing of one our truly great players, and people, Kenny McFadden.
Kenny McFadden came to New Zealand in 1982 from his hometown of East Lansing, Michigan via Washington State University. He proceeded to change the NBL forever.
In his first year he guided the team he would become synonymous with, the Wellington Saints, to the second division title, before going onto six straight NBL Grand Finals. McFadden led the Saints to championships in 1984, '85, '87 and '88
He finished his playing career with 4 titles, as a 4-time All Star-5 member; a 2-time outstanding guard, a 2-time scoring champion; a 3-time assist champion. Played 252 NBL games in total, scoring 5004 points for a career average over 20. In 2021, he was named the number 2 greatest NBL player of all time.
Still, amazingly, it's perhaps his post game career that he is most known for. As the long time mentor of Steven Adams, the man who set him on his way to NBA stardom, and as developer of young talent in the Wellington region.
Sal's NBL General Manager Huw Beynon says the League will pay tribute to McFadden in the upcoming season.
"We've lost one of our greats. My heart goes out to everyone who knew Kenny, and everyone in Wellington Basketball. His smile would light up the TSB Arena, and the work he'd done in the region had improved countless lives. The NBL community will miss his greatly. We will celebrate all he gave to our game in the Sal's NBL 2022 season."
Kenny McFadden died at the age of 61, but his legend will always live on in Wellington Saints organisation, and the New Zealand National Basketball League.