Basketball New Zealand (BBNZ) is proud to announce the launch of a new website dedicated to Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns statistics.
The online database covers teams, players, opponents and results – all searchable through filters. The project has been six years in the making as research was conducted and score sheets were sourced, largely thanks to the efforts of Tony O’Connor, a Wellington-based self-described data-head, and with assistance of the New Zealand Basketball Foundation.
Basketball New Zealand worked closely with Mr O’Connor to take the information and then bring it to life online with the help of Wellington-based company Haunt Digital.
Chief Executive Iain Potter says the website was a great way to acknowledge the long history of players and teams that have represented New Zealand on the world stage.
“History and story-telling is so important in reminding us of who we are and where we have come from. This online database will be a key resource in helping to build our sport’s story, which reminds younger generations of the pioneers who have come before them.
“An unbelievable amount of work has gone into creating this asset. Special recognition must go to Tony O’Connor for his incredible efforts, and also the Basketball New Zealand Foundation who have worked hard to collect information and store it safely – they continue to apply themselves to safeguarding the sport’s history. Tony and the Foundation should be very proud of the essential part they’ve played in this project,” says Potter.
Mr O’Connor, who works fulltime as a Manager for LT McGuinness Systems, has spent more than 1000 hours of his personal time retrieving and merging this data. He says it began as a passion-project six years ago after he struggled to source some statistics on Pero Cameron.
“Over the years I did a lot of reading and researching, and steadily built the database. I had more free time than usual a year or two back and worked alongside the Foundation team to get this project over the line.
“It’s great Basketball New Zealand assisted and then took the info and helped to publish it online. It’s cool to finally have the website available for fans like myself to trudge through and reflect on games we watched some time ago,” says O’Connor.
The majority of the statistics shown on the website were eventually drawn from year books, game sheets and other official publications both on hand in Basketball New Zealand’s archive and with FIBA.
When O’Connor’s data sources were starting to dry up, BBNZ requested more information from the community through social media, asking for anyone with official documents from international fixtures to send them in and contribute to the cause. That resulted in some data being recovered from dusty boxes and storage units of people who have played a role in our game in years gone by.
“We’ve had some great help from the basketball community. For example, there was a former Tall Ferns manager who forwarded on some of the year books she had which of course added to all that we had,” says O’Connor.
Mr O’Connor says there will be more information to come.
“It’s important to note that this data is not 100% complete. There are many historic Tall Ferns and Tall Blacks games where we don’t have the scores or stats for – we might only have a team list with names for example. So, there will be information we still need to add as more is found. It’s my hope that, through launching this website, more historical data will be uncovered and sent to us so we can update this resource,” says O’Connor.
The Tall Ferns and Tall Blacks statistics hub can be found at nz.basketball/statstool and can be searched through using the filter tools and clicking between the ‘players table’ and the ‘games table’.