On Friday 13 May, Basketball New Zealand was recognised at the High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) Prime Minister’s Scholarship presentation held in Auckland. Basketball New Zealand received two scholarships in 2016.
The first scholarship was awarded to Tall Blacks Head Coach, Paul Henare, to help support his USA coach tour, which took place in late March. The tour took in visits to two NBA teams: the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Philadelphia 76’ers. During the trip Coach Henare got a close look at what happens behind the scenes with these teams, and how they connect their NBA programme with the local community. Henare was also given the opportunity to immerse himself in the day to day practice sessions, and meet with teams’ management and administrators. He also experienced sitting court-side during games, in particular to study game management and the coaching staff.
The second scholarship was awarded to a group of seven Auckland-based referees that attended the 2016 Basketball New Zealand Development (Koru) Tour, which encompassed the Australian Country Cup Tournament held in January. This provided the group members the opportunity to experience international basketball, different rule interpretations, and how they needed to adapt to different playing conditions.
All seven members of the group are also a part of the Supercity Referee Development Squad Programme that currently provides referees with regular workshops and development opportunities in Auckland. This will continue in 2016 as we build toward ensuring Auckland has a sustainable foundation of adequately trained officials for the World Masters Games 2017.