On Thursday, Basketball Australia announced that Hall of Fame inductee Andrew Gaze AM OLY has been elevated to legend status, one of only six Australians to receive the highest honour in the sport.

He is one of the greatest basketball players Australia has produced, competing in five Olympic games (1984, 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2000). He played 297 matches representing his country, captained the Boomers for eight years and achieved fourth place at the 1988, 1996 and 2000 Olympics, Australia’s highest results until Tokyo 2020.

Gaze is best known to Australians as the Olympic flag-bearer in Sydney, where he led his country out in front of an ecstatic home crowd and became the third basketball player to compete at five Olympics. He remains the second all-time leading scorer at the Olympic games with 789 points.

Gaze played in four FIBA World Cups between 1986 and 1998. He remains the third-highest scorer of all time with 594 points.

Hailed as “The Factor” by three-time NBA champion and long-time Australian teammate Luc Longley, Gaze’s long list of accomplishments both in Australia and at the international level bear repeating.

Locally, his record will be hard to match. A two-time NBL champion, seven-time league MVP, top scorer for 14 seasons, points record holder (18,212) and all across 578 games, also an NBL record. The NBL season’s MVP award is also named after him.

“I knew Andrew Gaze by the code name The Factor. And that he was,” Longley said, paying tribute to Gaze.

“As his teammate with the national team spanning 22 years, he lived up to his name without fail. His ability to get it done every night and find ways to score when others couldn’t was consistent with greatness.

“In an era when Australian basketball was finding its feet internationally, The Factor was our spearhead and foundation. When you had Andrew on your team, you always felt like you were in the game, and he kept us in lots and won us even more.

“I took special delight watching confounded weary Euro and US defenders who had misjudged him badly during the pre-game eye test.

“The Factor was a legend as far as I was concerned and I’m proud to see it recognised. Now that he’s not The Factor anymore I might just start calling him Legend.”

Gaze said he was “beyond honoured” to be elevated to legend status and join his father on the esteemed list.

“To follow in my father’s footsteps is a dream I never dared to imagine. I am eternally indebted and grateful for the opportunities the game has provided me and my family,” he said.

Gaze’s elevation will be celebrated at a hall of fame event on July 1.