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Who's who of Australian sport make the grade at Lake G

Date

David Polkinghorne

Lauren Jackson and Kristi Harrower read the booklet on fellow inductees yesterday.

Lauren Jackson and Kristi Harrower read the booklet on fellow inductees yesterday. Photo: Colleen Petch

Lake Ginnindera College is one of Australian sport's best-kept secrets, producing 114 Olympians, 28 tennis grand slam titles, 13 world championships, six Olympic Games gold medals, three Socceroos captains, two WNBA championships and two WNBA All-Stars in just 25 years since it opened in 1987.

The Australian Institute of Sport has sent its Year 11 and 12 scholarship-holders there since the college's inception, with the old scholars forming a who's who of Aussie sport.

Lauren Jackson, Patrick Mills, Petria Thomas, Brett Emerton, Andrew Bogut and Todd Woodbridge are just a few of the 25 names inducted into the ''Lake G'' Hall of Fame, which was opened yesterday.

UC Lake Ginninderra College open's a Hall of Fame which correspond's with the school's 25th anniversary.  Petria Thomas cuts the red tape as  the fellow inductee's  look on (L to R) Monique Allen, Heather Garriock, Ben Hardy , Linley Frame, Daniel Marsden, Adam Pine, Liz Cambage, Joanne Morgan and Kristi Harrower and Lauren Jackson

UC Lake Ginninderra College open's a Hall of Fame which correspond's with the school's 25th anniversary. Petria Thomas cuts the red tape as the fellow inductee's look on (L to R) Monique Allen, Heather Garriock, Ben Hardy , Linley Frame, Daniel Marsden, Adam Pine, Liz Cambage, Joanne Morgan and Kristi Harrower and Lauren Jackson Photo: Colleen Petch

Jackson has developed into one of the best female basketballers in the world after she went to the college in 1998-99.

She made the four-kilometre trip to the AIS hundreds of times, although she claims to hold the record for most days absent - about 199 over the two years.

After wearing an AIS tracksuit to school for all that time, it was being able to dress like everyone else that stuck with her the most.

''We'd get off the bus and be in our basketball gear or our training gear and you'd be like, 'do we have to go to school today?' But the very last day of school we all dressed up,'' Jackson said.

''I think that was one of the funniest days ever, walking in our high heels, with mini skirts and everything.''

Jackson moved away from home at a young age, transferring from Murray High School, in Albury, to Lake G so she could take up her AIS scholarship.

It was a similar story for Thomas, who moved down from Mullumbimby, near Lismore.

Her return to Lake G was a walk down memory lane and thoughts of her ''crazy year'' in 1993 came flooding back, when she was not only doing Year 12 but competing at the world championships in Spain.

''There was lots of rushing around and it was the same with uni - it took me nine years to get my degree,'' she said.

''I really didn't have the normal life of a uni student.''

Of the 25 inducted, only volleyballer Ben Hardy didn't have an AIS scholarship while he was at Lake G, while netballer Joanne Morgan was the only non-Olympian.

Hardy was a former Australian captain and the most-capped Aussie ever.

He rode his bike to school from Kaleen after transferring from Lyneham High, where his volleyball career got off to a bad start.

''I tried out for the Lyneham High School volleyball team [but] I didn't make it. I did the trials and a list was put up but I wasn't on the list,'' Hardy said.

''So what I did was just turned up to training and I don't know if the coach didn't think I was suppose to be there or not but I just stayed.''

And Hardy's persistence paid off, with appearances at two Olympic Games and a professional career playing in Europe for a decade.

INDUCTEES

Monique Allen (gymnast); Liz Cambage (basketball); Linley Frame (swimming); Heather Garriock (soccer); Ben Hardy (volleyball); Kristi Harrower (basketball); Lauren Jackson (basketball); Daniel Marsden (water polo); Joanne Morgan (netball); Adam Pine (swimming); Philippe Rizzo (gymnastics); Petria Thomas (swimming); David Andersen (basketball); Andrew Bogut (basketball); Tim Cuddihy (archery); Brett Emerton (soccer); Shane Heal (basketball); Craig Moore (soccer); Patrick Mills (basketball); Lucas Neill (soccer); Renae Stubbs (tennis); Penny Taylor (basketball); Mark Viduka (soccer); Lisa-Marie Vizaniari (athletics); Todd Woodbridge (tennis).

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