40th Anniversary Honourees – Linda Brandt, Kate Stacker and Hollie Florance

February 29, 2024 | Melbourne Boomers news

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Deakin Melbourne Boomers, individuals who have made special contributions to the Boomers and our history will be honoured at each Home Game at the Boom Box.

For our Home Semi Final this Saturday March 2, Linda Brandt, Kate Stacker (nee Cohen) and Hollie Florance (nee Grima) are our esteemed guests whose history and success with the then Bulleen Boomers will be celebrated.

Linda Brandt is an extremely loyal Boomer, playing 252 WNBL games for the Boomers over 13 years, then serving as team manager for eight seasons after her time on court was over.

Brandt is the games record holder for the most games played for Boomers, at 252 games, a wonderful record from over a decade of hard work and resilience.

She sits comfortably in the Top 10 on the club’s leaderboards for most points (1625), rebounds (681), two-point field goals (582) and assists (629) having retired from the court in 2000.

Brandt arrived at the club as a 16-year-old in 1988 and maintained her WNBL career whilst juggling a full-time job as an accountant.

Brandt was made a WNBL Life Member during the 1999/00 WNBL season and was acknowledged for her commitments and hard work as a player in the league.

Linda was “extremely grateful” to learn of her recognition for her hard work at the club and wanted to acknowledge and thank all of the coaches, players, support staff and volunteers that have been part of the Boomers’ 40-year history.

“Whilst we weren’t always successful on the court in the early years, the friendships made and experiences we had along the way really meant that my years at the Boomers were truly memorable.”

Hollie Florance is a very gifted athlete from Launceston who gave so much to the Australian basketball both in the WNBL and for representing Australia.

Florance was an elite centre and decorated athlete including both Olympics medals and WNBL awards.

Hollie started out at the AIS and, during her time there, was selected for the Australian Junior National Juniors team (Gems) in 2002 and went on to win a bronze medal at the World Championship.

Florance was an impactful player for the Boomers across four seasons from 2003 and returned for the 2012/13 season. A clear highlight of her 111 games for the Boomers was being crowned the WNBL MVP for the the 2006/07 season.

In 2011, Hollie was diagnosed with an early form of cervical cancer but that didn’t stop her from continuing to play the game she loves and begin playing with the Eltham Wildcats in 2012 before returning to the Boomers for a final WNBL season.

Hollie was inducted to the Tasmanian Sports Hall of Fame for her achievements in Australian basketball in 2016 and acknowledged for her talents and commitment to the sport of basketball.

Florance noted it was “an honour to be recognised” as an important part of the Boomers’ history and that the club was her “home away from home” being a young person who left her home in Tasmania to pursue her basketball career.

“During my time at the club, I was lucky enough to win the league MVP award. I made lifelong friendships that I cherish today and feel lucky to have been a part of this great club and I love that I can now share that with my kids.”

Hollie is currently part of the recently launched WNBL Trailblazers, the WNBL alumni project, and through this hopes to continue to give back to the sport that she has played her whole life.

Kate Stacker had a very lengthy WNBL career from 1989 to 2004, spanning 16 seasons of strength and expertise.

This included a total of 287 WNBL games with 205 for the Boomers.

Kate originally joined the Bulleen Boomers junior program in 1982 as a 9-year-old and had success throughout her junior years at club and state level.

She made the Victorian state team on five occasions and won five National Championships and later on, in 1990, she was awarded a full scholarship to the AIS.

She was a significant presence on court for the Boomers being Captain of the team for two seasons and part of three finals series.

Stacker was made a WNBL Life Member during the 2001/02 WNBL season and acknowledged for her leadership and hard work as a player in the league.

Kate was honoured by this acknowledgement as it “means a lot” to her to be acknowledged by the club that she loves.

“To be honored by the club I spent half my life at is very special, and I am grateful my boys will be able to see their mum was a ‘player’ and part of the WNBL, as I retired before they were born!”

See Linda, Hollie and Kate receive their acknowledgement at our Home Semi Final on Saturday, March 2 at 7pm at the Boom Box, next to the Melbourne Zoo! You can purchase tickets for the game here!

You will also be able to watch the second Semi Final game on ESPN and Kayo!