HE’S collected a hefty swag of awards and milestones throughout, and following, his 563-game NBL career, but there was at least one honour still capable of flooring Hawks legend Glen Saville.
On Tuesday night, the five-time Hawks MVP and two-time Olympian was inducted into the Basketball Australia Hall of Fame at the NBL’s end-of-season awards dinner.
Saville was named alongside Tony Ronaldson and Brett Maher in the class of 2018. It came in his first year of eligibility, and was seemingly a no-brainer, but Saville admits he was shocked when informed of the honour.
“When I got the phone call I was actually in the car with the kids and I got a bit emotional, I almost had to pull the car over,” Saville said.
“When you look at the inductees that have gone before me, they’re players I idolised, guys like Andrew Gaze, Mark Bradtke, Leroy Loggins, Ricky Grace.
“It involves the pioneers of basketball who’ve gone long before myself, and even before the NBL, that have been the lifeblood of basketball in this country.
“The players that are going in with me, Tony Ronaldson and Brett Maher, are two guys who’ve been teammates of mine and players I had some really tough battles against in the NBL.
“I’m overwhelmed because it was something I never, ever saw coming.”
There’s barely a record Saville doesn’t hold at the Hawks, be it games (527), points (6865), field goals (2511), assists (1847), blocks (423), steals (776) or rebounds (4041).
It’s impossible to fathom any of those marks being surpassed but Saville said it’s only in retirement that the numbers really hit home.
“When those accolades came about, 500 games and all those things, you take it on board and you’re very proud of it, but generally there’s always a big picture,” Saville said.
“You’re in a season and you’ve got something to focus on other than that. When you retire from it, you look back and all the different things I got achieve and think ‘man that’s pretty cool’.”
Saville became a favourite among fans and teammates for his team-first mentality, and was typically quick to share credit for the gong.
“This doesn’t come without help from people along the way, my family, my parents, my coaches,” he said.
“Obviously I was the one out there doing it but you don’t become a Hall of Famer without being influenced by a number of people.
“Brendan Joyce in the early days, Gordie McLeod was my AIS coach and ended up coaching me as a professional, Brian Goorjian with the Australian team and the Kings for a season.
“I think those guys saw things in me I didn’t realise I possessed. I’ll be accepting the award, and it’s got my name on it, but I’ve got a lot of people to thank for it.”