Voting now open for Ring of Honour Award

11 January 2023

12 mins read

Sydney Kings fans, it’s time to get voting for the 2023 Ring of Honour Award. 

The club is excited to reveal the six nominees for this year’s award, which gives fans and members a chance to vote for their favourite Kings players over the last three decades. 


Once again, a four-person judging panel has decided on six nominees for the award. 

Kings great and assistant coach Daniel Kickert, Kings historian Matt McQuade, television commentator and presenter Jo Healy and News Corp’s head basketball writer Matt Logue judged the nominees based on the criteria supporting the award. 


The Ring of Honour recognises players, such as inaugural winner Tommy Garlepp (2020) and last year’s recipient Ben Knight, not just for their talents on the court, but for other reasons worthy of recognition consisting of:   

  • The most entertaining;  
  • The most courageous;  
  • A great teammate; or  
  • Those who gave back to our community. 

Separate to the Sydney Kings Hall of Fame, which is the club’s most distinguished award, the Ring of Honour is an award that enables the entire Sydney basketball community to vote on the winner. 

The nominees for this year’s award (including bios provided by Matt McQuade) are Ben Madgen, Brad Rosen, Leon Trimmingham, Bruce Bolden, BJ Carter and Marc Ridlen. 

  • Ben Madgen 

Seasons played with Kings: 5 (2010-2015) 

Games played with Kings: 139 

Career totals with Kings: 2,011 points, 455 rebounds, 278 assists, 97 steals, 19 blocked shots, 4,048 minutes, 42.9% FG, 35.0% 3PT FG, 80.1% FT. 

It’s remarkable that a young man out of Adelaide who went to Augusta State University in the United States, came to the Kings as a virtual unknown in 2010 and was nearly released before his first NBL season had ended would become one of the most celebrated Sydney Kings players. 

‘Madge’, as he was universally known, was an outstanding perimeter shooter for the purple and gold, but most importantly emerged as one of this club’s greatest leaders, both on and off the court. 

A former captain of the club, he won NBL Rookie of the Year in 2011 and had a brilliant season in 2012/13, winning the league scoring title, the NBL Most Improved Award and selection to the All-NBL First Team. 

Such was the esteem in which he was held, Ben was also named to the Sydney Kings 25th Anniversary Team in 2013 while still playing for the club. 

However, it was Ben’s work in the community that was truly extraordinary. He was a genuine ‘King of the Kids’, establishing Madgen’s Message of Hope for sick children, making countless visits to hospitals to brighten someone’s day or organising tickets for those kids and their families so they could attend Sydney Kings games. 

Always with a smile on his face, ‘Madge’ made time for anyone who approached for a chat, an autograph, or just a kind word. He was a great player, but a better human. 

  • Brad Rosen 

Seasons played with Kings: 5 (1995-1999) 

Games played with Kings: 99 

Career totals with Kings: 410 points, 105 rebounds, 149 assists, 48 steals, 2 blocked shots, 1,262 minutes, 46.5% FG, 73.7% FT 

Brad ‘Lightning’ Rosen is one of those stories that Hollywood loves – a kid with a dream who made that dream into a reality. 

From his time as a junior at the City of Sydney Association where he marvelled at the exploits of the Sydney Supersonics, to becoming a fan of the Kings from the time the team played its first season in 1988, Brad wanted nothing more than to pull on a Sydney Kings jersey. 

And that, he did, in 1995, after starring with the Kings development team Sydney SKY (Sydney Kings Youth). Thanks to blazing speed, a tireless work ethic and intense competitive nature, Brad quickly became a quality backup guard and a fan favourite. 

He even had a group of fans at the old Sydney Entertainment Centre create the ‘Brad Rosen Stand’ and a website dedicated to his exploits, such was his popularity. 

Brad stayed with the Kings despite being recruited to Victoria by super coach Brian Goorjian, became a team captain in 1998 and even starred in his own Tooheys TV commercial before his premature retirement from the game as a player, but his connection to the Kings didn’t stop there, as he became an assistant coach to the mighty ‘Goorj’ in 2003 and helped the purple and gold win their first two NBL championships. 

These days, Brad is an outstanding commentator on NBL games, as he has been since 2013, but there’s no question this remarkable human being, one of the kindest, most generous individuals there is, remains a Sydney King, through and through. 

  • Leon Trimmingham 

Seasons played with Kings: 2 (1994-1995) 

Games played with Kings: 55 

Career totals with Kings: 1,509 points, 600 rebounds, 82 assists, 94 steals, 119 blocked shots, 2,133 minutes, 56.3% FG, 78.3% FT. 

It says a lot that even to this day, Leon Trimmingham is spoken about in almost reverential terms by long-time fans of the Sydney Kings, even though he only played two seasons in the Harbour City. 

Why is that? 

Well, for starters, this 6’5”, undersized power forward, who came from the US Virgin Islands, loved cricket and whose mother owned a KFC franchise at one time, burst on to the scene as a complete unknown in 1994 and immediately started terrorising the NBL as one of the greatest high-flying acts this competition has ever known. 

Nicknamed ‘Above the Rim’, that’s exactly where Leon played the game – in fact, way above the rim. He was a skywalker, a human highlight reel, a dunking machine, who played the game with such verve and joy that fans couldn’t get enough of him. 

Leon’s number 42 jersey was everywhere in the Kingdome in those days and watching him was like watching a movie thriller – you were always just waiting for the moment when he would make you jump out of your seat with excitement thanks to some explosive, gravity-defying play. He was must-watch viewing, to say the very least. 

Off the court, he was just as beloved. He attended hundreds of clinics across New South Wales during his short time here, even making an impression on a young man in Dubbo named Matt Logue, who would grow up to be a great basketball writer. 

Kids and parents alike loved Leon Trimmingham – a humble superstar who was an outstanding representative of the Sydney Kings. 

  • Bruce Bolden 

Seasons played with Kings: 4 (1995-1998) 

Games played with Kings: 110 

Career totals with Kings: 1,629 points, 922 rebounds, 213 assists, 127 steals, 79 blocked shots, 3,737 minutes, 53.1% FG, 40.7% 3PT FG, 75.6% FT. 

Bruce Bolden is not only one of the greatest players in the history of the National Basketball League and a man who was a brilliant contributor to the Sydney Kings, but he’s also a fascinating dichotomy. 

On the court, he was tough, hard, and intimidating. A look from Bruce alone could stop veteran NBL players in their tracks. Yet off court, you would not meet a more decent human being, a true gentleman who engaged with the community in an exemplary manner. 

Recruited to the Kings in 1995, he was part of one of the most entertaining squads in franchise history, the legendary 1996 team featuring the likes of Shane ‘The Hammer’ Heal, Isaac ‘Ice’ Burton and Melvin Thomas. 

And Bruce still features in the top 10 all-time in Sydney Kings’ history in field goal percentage, free throws made, free throws attempted, offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, total rebounds, and career rebounds per game. 

Later, he became the lead analyst for Sydney Kings Radio for several years and continues to work with kids through his successful basketball clinics. 

Tough as they come, yet a man who everyone loves – that’s Bruce ‘Buffy’ Bolden. 

  • BJ Carter 

Seasons played with Kings: 7 (2001/2002; 2002/2003; 2003/2004; 2004/2005; 2005/2006; 2006/2007; 2007/2008) 

Games played with Kings: 150 

Career totals with Kings: 625 points; 172 rebounds; 109 assists; 41 steals; 1,660 minutes; 42.5% FG; 43.4% 3PT FG; 78.5% FT 

NBL championships with Kings: 3 (2002/2003; 2003/2004; 2004/2005) 

BJ Carter is the epitome of what it should mean to be a Sydney King, especially for any young Sydney basketball player who has a dream of wearing the purple and gold. 

This young man, the pride of the Sutherland basketball association, was a slight, 6’1” guard who wasn’t especially athletic or strong, even though he was incredibly gifted at shooting the rock. 

What set him apart was a tireless work ethic, remarkable passion, and a single-minded goal – to become the best player he could be and represent the team he loved; the Sydney Kings. 

He started as nothing more than a training player for the club, there to provide someone for the stars to go up against on a daily basis. But such was his impact, he would eventually parlay those hard days in practice into a full-time roster spot, one of his proudest achievements. 

And he would become a key contributor during the Brian Goorjian era in Sydney, evolving into a productive bench piece and one of the finest three-point shooters in franchise history. 

Before Daniel Kickert’s amazing NBL20 campaign, when ‘Kicks’ shot 49% from downtown for the season, BJ held the single-season three-point percentage record for the club, knocking down 48.8% from three-point range in the 2006/2007 season. And his 45.8% mark in the 2005/2006 season remains in the all-time top 10 in Kings’ history for three-point percentage in a single season. 

One of only 10 men to have played 150 games for the club, BJ is also just one of five individuals to have played in at least seven NBL seasons for the Kings. The other four? Matthew Nielsen, Damian Keogh, Tim Morrissey and Mark Dalton – all four are Sydney Kings Legends. That a pretty impressive group to be a part of. 

On and off the court, BJ Carter was an outstanding representative of the club he loved so much, a club with which he spent his entire NBL career, and he is a worthy nominee for this year’s Ring of Honour. 

  • Marc Ridlen 

Seasons played with Kings: 3 (1988; 1989; 1990) 

Games played with Kings: 83 

Career totals with Kings: 1,886 points; 957 rebounds; 160 assists; 98 steals; 74 blocked shots; 3,134 minutes; 51.6% FG; 27.7% 3PT FG; 70.9% FT 

Marc Ridlen came to Sydney in 1987 and never left. 

The graduate of Drury University in Missouri had played in Argentina and then the old SEABL competition with the Bendigo Braves before Mike Wrublewski signed him to become a member of the Sydney Supersonics as an unknown 6’10” import power forward. 

Ridlen quickly made people sit up and take notice with an outstanding campaign for the Sonics in ’87, leading the team in scoring (30.5ppg) and rebounding (16.1rpg) and he was named to the All-NBL Second Team. 

Those numbers saw him become the very first player signed to a contract by the newly formed Sydney Kings, making him a foundation member in the club’s first NBL season in 1988. 

From there, Marc played with great distinction for the purple and gold, helping lead them to a pair of playoff appearances in 1989 and 1990. 

He was incredibly productive and efficient throughout his stint with the Kings, setting a franchise record that is unlikely to ever be approached with an astounding 30 rebounds in a single game against the Newcastle Falcons at the State Sports Centre in March 1988 – that spectacular effort included 19 defensive boards, which is also a Sydney Kings single-game record. 

Remarkably, Marc is still featured in the all-time top 10 in Sydney Kings' history in points, field goals made, field goals attempted, offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, total rebounds, career points per game, career rebounds per game and career minutes per game. And his 13.5 rebounds per game in 1988 remains the best ever by a Kings player in a single season. 

Even though he was released at the end of the 1990 season, Marc remained in Sydney and lives here to this day, such is his love for the city. He was even nicknamed ‘Syd’ by the team, to go along with his other nicknames – ‘Chewbacca’ and ‘The Board Crusher’. 

A great player and a great man whose exploits for the purple and gold should never be forgotten – Marc Ridlen is a standout nominee for the 2023 Sydney Kings Ring of Honour. 

Voting closes on Wednesday, January 18, with fans able to have their say here. 

The winner will be presented with their award at the penultimate Kings home game of the season at Qudos Bank Arena against the New Zealand Breakers on January 22 – which will also coincide with the NBL’s heritage round and Sydney’s 20-year anniversary of their 2003 championship. 

Fans can get their tickets to the Heritage Round fixture here. 

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