Cessnock City Council is excited to announce Bob Turner as the regions new 2021 Australia Day Ambassador, replacing the previously assigned David Bitton who can no longer attend due to unforeseen circumstances.
One of Australia's most respected business minds in sport, Bob Turner is known for his significant contribution to the National Basketball League (NBL) and the growth of basketball as a popular sport in Australia.
Mr Turner first came to Australia from the USA in 1976 to play basketball. Becoming an Australian citizen in 1995, he went on to forge a distinguished career as not only a player but a coach, marketer, manager, motivator and team owner.
He is one of an elite group of coaches to be awarded the prestigious NBL Coach of the Year Award twice, first in 1981 as coach of the Newcastle Falcons and then in 1985 leading the Canberra Cannons.
Mr Turner is the youngest coach in history to win an NBL Championship and one of a few coaches in the thirty-three year history of the league to win more than one championship.
This illustrious record makes him one of the greatest coaches in the history of the NBL and saw him inducted into the NBL Hall of Fame in 1999.
Mr Turner said he is excited to be coming back to the Hunter Region for his 26th year as an Australia Day Ambassador.
"I'm looking forward to visiting the Hunter again and love that Cessnock has evolved to be such a fantastic sports community. This will definitely be a yearly highlight for me," he said.
Mr Turner will be part of the Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony and Australia Day Awards on January 26 at the Cessnock Performing Arts Centre. The event will be live streamed this year and is not open to the public due to COVID-19.
Australia Day celebrations also include Council's free Australia Day Movie Night at Heddon Greta Drive-In featuring two classic Australian films, Red Dog (starring Josh Lucas and Rachel Taylor) and Storm Boy (starring Jai Courtney and Geoffrey Rush).