The New Zealand basketball community is mourning the loss of former Tall Blacks coach Steve McKean MNZM, who passed away this morning after a short battle with cancer. “Coach” was at the helm of the Tall Blacks from 1972-1981 and led the team to their first ever win over Australia in 1978.
McKean started his New Zealand basketball career with the Auckland Club, Panmure, after arriving from the USA over 50 years ago. He was an NBL coach for nine years, during that time he was notably the coach of the first team in the NBL to win 100 games. Coach received the Basketball New Zealand Coach of the Year Award in both 1978 and again in 2002.
McKean was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2012 for his services to Sport, and in 2016 was honoured by the wider sports sector when he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the New Zealand Sport and Recreation Awards.
He dedicated years as a Regional Sports director for Sport Taranaki and as a secondary school sports co-ordinator where he was instrumental in so many young people’s lives.
Our thoughts are with his wife Rachel, and his family.