Champ calls time on his career

Colac basketballer Pete Williamson is set to retire after about 200 A Grade games and five championships in the association. He will chase a sixth title tomorrow night.

One of Colac basketball’s most decorated careers will come to an end in tomorrow night’s A Grade men’s grand final after almost three decades.

Hawks Magic’s Pete Williamson has announced he will finish up after his team’s grand final clash against Demons Dynamite, as he chases his sixth A Grade title.

The 36-year-old started playing in the Colac Basketball Association in 1990 with his St Marys Primary School mates, and junior representative hoops alongside Travis Gaylard and former St Kilda AFL champ Steven Baker.

It wasn’t until his 20s that his senior career began, after his late teens were focused on football.

“I remember I started playing B Grade men’s basketball with a couple of footy players like Shane Black and Luke McLennan,” Williamson said.

After two dominant seasons in B Grade, winning two premierships, two league best-and-fairest awards and two grand final MVPs, association officials encouraged Williamson to step up to the A Grade ranks in the mid-2000s.

He said he remembered starting his A Grade career alongside towering centre Tim Battersby who he would later play in championships with, as well as players like Kevin Hinge and Jason Cuolahan.

“Hingey and me always had a good connection on the court, without having too much of a system we always worked pretty well together,” Williamson said.

“Jase Cuolahan was also good for our team, he was always the ultimate professional,” he said.

“Matty Lucas and Juddy Williamson were probably the better players I played against over the years, they’re pretty much the face of Colac basketball.”

Williamson had two championships under his belt before returning to the Colac association in 2009-10, forming a side which would go on to win the next three titles.

Only Williamson, Hinge and Dale Menzies were all part of the three-peat.

“The second grand final in the three-peat was probably the most memorable,” Williamson said.

“We were down by 18 at half time, I actually think my brother who was watching got up and left at that point, but we came flying back in the second half,” he said.

For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.

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