As I reach the two month milestone of being in the role of High Performance General
Manager for Basketball New Zealand, I thought it was an opportune time to provide
everyone with an update on some of the new and exciting initiatives we have established as
part of BBNZ High-Performance program moving forward.
The landscape for our high-performance programs has changed significantly with FIBA’s
Oceania pivot to Qualifying through Asia. This has transformed the way in which we will
provide access to development opportunities for our teams, athletes and coaches. We have
established a set of key initiatives that will drive our development programs and ensure
they are world’s best practice and that they meet the needs of the agreed outcomes of the
What is High Performance?
In January 2018 Basketball New Zealand held a National Coaches Conference, this
conference was the first opportunity to discuss and explore what High Performance is in
New Zealand and what role it will play for our athletes and coaches. It was decided that the
entry level into Basketball New Zealand’s High-Performance program would be those
athletes that are turning 14 years old, upwards to the athletes participating in our 19&U
national program. The agreed definition of High Performance:
Is a program that will identify potential High-Performance athletes, provide the right
environment and experiences to allow them to develop into High Performing athletes so they
can achieve success in representing New Zealand in key bench mark events.
BBNZ will identify potential High Performing coaches, invest in their development so they
can provide the athletes with a consistent elite level training environment and develop High
Performing Teams while evolving into change resilient coaches.
We recently announced all of the National coaches for our age group teams, we are
extremely fortunate to have secured an experienced and committed group of coaches who
will, no doubt, represent New Zealand in a professional capacity. There have been a number
of changes within the National team program, please find a few of them below;
National Team Camps
New Zealand National teams will now be allowed 3 camps in preparation for their bench
mark event for the year. Our first camp of the year will be near the Waitangi Day weekend,
the second National camp will be held over the April school holidays and the final national
team camp will be held over the October Labour Day weekend. Each team will also have a
pre-departure camp prior to leaving for their nominated competition.
National Talent Program
Basketball New Zealand’s National Talent Program has been re-engineered to make the
process of identification of athletes less onerous, broadly more consistent and more cost
effective. The Associations will still be asked to nominate those athletes they feel Basketball
New Zealand should track and monitor at key competition events and BBNZ will have talent
spotters at those key completion events assessing the athlete’s talent levels. However, once
the National Championships have been completed, BBNZ will offer those athletes we feel
have the greatest chance of playing for our National teams within a 5 – 10 year window an
opportunity to attend a position specific camp. At that camp, the athletes will be further
exposed to our National Style of Play and they will be evaluated on their skill competencies,
athletic ability and basketball understanding (IQ). If an athlete performs well at the position
specific camp, they may be invited to attend a National camp in their age group the
following year. This is the new process for identification and development of athletes
within the National Talent Program.
Those athletes that were part of the Basketball New Zealand National Talent Program in
2016 and haven’t received an invitation to a National camp this year will now be captured
under the revised National Talent Program. We hope to see your name nominated from
your home Association and we will monitor you at the National competitions later this year.
Basketball New Zealand will now be using Regional and National depth charts to capture our
most talented athlete’s physical and athletic details and they will be ranked in order of
ability. Each region / Association should already have a copy of the new depth chart. They
have been asked to manage the Depth charts and send updated information to BBNZ
quarterly. Basketball New Zealand will manage its own National depth chart, any athlete
appearing on the National depth chart will be considered a High-Performance athlete and
will be part of Basketball New Zealand’s new National High-Performance training program.
We are working hard to get this new National High-Performance program up and running
and we will be in touch once we have more information on this program.
National Style of Play
And finally, Basketball New Zealand has a style of play, this style of play was introduced at
the National Coaches Conference and is being rolled out at a series of coaching / player
clinics. We would like as many Associations as possible to adopt our National Style of Play,
however we ask for creativity from those early adopters of our National style of play. We
don’t want a Nation of clones, we want a consistent approach to our teaching, we want a
consistent terminology and we want our athletes to be exposed to a solid foundation of
skills that underpin the National Style of Play.
Philosophically this new High-Performance program is about creating a culture of excellence
and establishing a program that athletes and coaches aspire to be involved in. To achieve
our goals the new High-Performance program can’t be run in isolation, we are totally
dependent upon partnerships and collaboration within our national network to ensure we
have the most effective and robust system. In my short time in the role I have witnessed a
strong spirit of cooperation within the basketball community, it is great to see that renewed
enthusiasm and willingness from people at every level of the game to work together.