Greatest moments in Otago sport - number 121

Hayden Meikle counts down the 150 greatest moments in Otago sport.

No 121: Glen Denham makes Otago debut (1979)

A fresh-faced Glen Denham shortly after leaving high school. Photo from <i>ODT</i> files.
A fresh-faced Glen Denham shortly after leaving high school. Photo from <i>ODT</i> files.
He had the simple "GD" nickname but a better sobriquet might have been that "mighty kauri" cliche.

Glen Denham was a big man, literally and figuratively. He was a colossus of Otago and New Zealand basketball whose influence on the sport has not been fully recognised.

It all started in 1979, when a lanky 15-year-old pupil was plucked out of King's High School to make his debut for Otago.

The only problem when he left school was that his home province did not play in the national league.

So Denham transferred to Waikato, where he made his NBL debut in 1982, and then to Canterbury, where he won championships in 1989 and 1990.

Denham, a 2.01m forward, returned to play for the Otago Nuggets from 1991 to 1997, and again in 1999.

He finished with 224 regular-season NBL appearances, more than 4000 points and nearly 2000 rebounds, and was three times named most outstanding New Zealand forward.

Denham made his Tall Blacks debut in 1984 and did not retire until 1999. He played 152 tests, and nearly 200 international games in all, and was the captain for 13 years.

After retiring, Denham was a regular on various television programmes and moved to England, where he has been working in education.



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