Hall of Fame Inductee
Sandy Brondello, born on 20 August 1968 in Mackay, started playing basketball from age 9. In her own words: “I fell in love with basketball from game one”. At age 12, she was already playing “A” Grade basketball in Mackay and Under-14 representative ball, progressing through Uner-16, Under-18, and Under-20. She was heavily influenced and coached by Carol Insch and the legendary Norma Connolly.Sandy’s following career cannot be summarised readily but here is a snapshot.
- Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) scholarship holder (1986-1987);
- WNBL player (1986 to 1996) with AIS, Bankstown, Sydney, and Brisbane;
- WNBL Leading scorer 1994, 1995 and All-WNBL selection in the same years;
- WNBL Most Valuable Player 1995;
- 302 games for the Australian Opals
- Four Olympic Games (1988, 1996, 2000, 2004) for one bronze and two silver medals;
- Four World Championships (1990, 1994, 1998, 2002) for two bronze medals;
- Basketball Australia’s Maher Medal winner for the Opals’ player of the year;
- One of the first two Australian women to pioneer playing abroad in Europe;
- Ten-time champion German champion with Wuppertal Club;
- Four appearances at FIBA Euroleague Final Four (1994, 1996, 1997, 1998) with Wuppertal
- Euroleague Champion and Final Four MVP (1996) with Wuppertal;
- Euroleague All-Star 1994, 1996, 1997.
- WNBA (USA) player (1998 to 2003) with Detroit, Miami, and Seattle (started in 150 of 159 games);
- WNBA All-Star 1999;
- Assistant Coach, San Antonio Silver Stars 2005-2009 and Head Coach 2010;
- Lead Assistant Coach, Los Angeles Sparks 2011-2013;
- Named Head Coach, Phoenix Mercury on 15 November 2013 and coached the team to a WNBA Championship win in 2014, and was also named WNBA Coach of the Year.
- She continues coaching Phoenix Mercury in 2016 and, in the off-season, serves as Assistant Coach to her Sandy Brondello
- Basketball QLD Coach husband, Olaf Lange, with Russian Club UMMC Ekaterinburg. Sandy was awarded the Australian Sports medal in 2000 and inducted into what is now the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.
Sandy Brondello: a favourite ‘Queensland daughter’ and arguably Queensland’s most successful basketball athlete; and a very worthy member of the Class of 2016 of the Queensland Basketball Hall of Fame.