Barbara Wheadon’s interest in basketball began at Te Awamutu College in the mid 1960’s where she played at school level, representative basketball for Waikato Schools, and also the National School’s team.
Wheadon participated in the game as a player, referee, coach, and competitions organiser. However, it is at an administrative level in basketball, where Wheadon’s commitment and service to a sport she loves, are outstanding.
Her 40-years of involvement from community to international level in New Zealand was recognised in 2006. That year she was awarded Life Membership to Basketball New Zealand and received the prestigious NZ Order of Merit for services to basketball in the same year.
Wheadon was instrumental in the development of the facilities in North Harbour which enabled the rapid growth of basketball in this part of Auckland, particularly in youth development. She was chair of the North Shore Events Centre Trust Board during and after its construction whilst also holding various positions, including Chair, Treasurer, and interim CEO at Harbour Basketball Board.
In all she was a BBNZ Board Member from 1998-2008 and was President from 2002-2008.
During her tenure New Zealand made significant strides on the world stage: The Tall Blacks finished fourth at the 2002 World Basketball Championships; there was a quarter final finish by the Tall Ferns at the 2004 Athens Olympics; and NZ hosted the Men’s U19 World Championship in Auckland in 2009.
Her leadership and organisational skills were also recognised on the global stage.
Wheadon was appointed to the FIBA Oceania Board in 2002 and was President of the organisation between 2006 and 2010. During the same period, she was able to represent Oceania on the FIBA Central Board for 12-years.
Other roles have included a trustee of Sport North Harbour, a trustee of the Millennium Institute of Sport and President of the New Zealand Basketball Foundation.