Congratulations to Ashley Cross - Basketball ACT Award for Outstanding Service!

At a recent AGM of Basketball ACT, it was confirmed that our President, Ash Cross, has been awarded a Basketball ACT Award for Outstanding Service in recognition of his 40+ years of service to basketball in Canberra!
Ash has been involved in ACT basketball since the 1970s, through various clubs and in the ACT Representative Program during his junior playing years. Ash has also been a significantly committed Dodgers President since 2017 and a highly dedicated Dodgers coach.
Ash began his basketball days at Melrose High with a bunch of mates in the mid 1970s. Having grown up predominantly as a cricketer and AFL player, Ash quickly found what would become a lifelong passion in basketball. Under the guidance of coach Don Patton, who would ultimately become a lifelong friend of Ash’s, the team had initial success, and was soon able to step up into the senior men’s reserve competition with several older players. From there, Ash quickly developed as a basketball player and was selected in the ACT representative team in his late teens.
This unofficial ’school’ team of Melrose students ultimately rose to first division skill level and later combined with the ’Southern Suburbs’ team to form ’Souths’ in 1978. Ashley was a key member of the early days of this club, and played Centre for what would ultimately become a dominant club over many seasons. Many of the younger Souths players, including Ash, were invited to train and/or play with the Canberra Cannons.
Ash continued to play basketball in the ACT region spanning a number of decades including for Souths, Weston Creek Woden Dodgers, and several teams in the Masters Competition.
After unofficially coaching all three of his children who followed in his footsteps to play junior representative basketball for the ACT, he decided to make it official. He had a strong desire to give back to the game, and after several years of experience as a committee member on the Marist Basketball Club, he returned to his old basketball club, WCW Dodgers in 2017. Although initially planning to just coach a team, Ash quickly found himself volunteering on the Club committee. He was soon after elected as Club President.
Since that time, Ash has given his all to the Club - both as President and as the coach of numerous Dodgers teams, ranging from the younger age groups right up to the more senior levels. He has been a regular face at many Dodgers events, including at many of our recent age group trials for the Winter 2021 season.
He has also been the much-needed leader that all clubs need to keep the annual processes of club trials, registrations, competitions and awards ticking over, skilfully bringing together the Dodgers committee to ensure everything that has to get done is done. He has often put in this huge effort and commitment at times when he has also had a lot of other commitments outside basketball on his plate.
The Dodgers’ recent trials have had a huge turnout of players across numerous age groups, which is testament to the popularity that the Dodgers have achieved as a Club under Ash’s leadership.
Whether you are a lower grade junior who is just starting out in basketball, or a higher grade player who is on the ACT rep program, Ash will give you the same focus and commitment - this inclusive philosophy is something that has been adopted widely throughout the Dodgers community, and is something for which the Dodgers have become known and respected.
In addition to his many Dodgers commitments, Ash has also been a devoted representative of our Club at various Basketball ACT committees and meetings, and through this has been strongly involved in the direction of basketball in the ACT.
Ash is fundamentally committed to sharing his knowledge, experience and passion for basketball with every player he coaches, or any Dodgers player in general.
His guiding motivation is to provide all players with a foundation in basketball so that anywhere they go in life, they will always have the basic skills and knowledge of the game such that they could pick up a ball, have a crack, and make some lifelong friends along the way. Just as he did.
A huge congratulations Ash, from all of us at the Dodgers, for this highly deserved recognition of all that you have done - and are still doing!


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