Veronica Thompson – 40 Years (Wellington) | 2019

Thompson attended Wellington East Girl’s College, where coached by her dad, Wellington East made their very first and only NZ Secondary School Girls National Championship Final in 1979, finishing runners-up to Mairehau High School from Christchurch.

She then followed her brother Rewi to the United States and attended Middle Township High School in New Jersey to take up the opportunity to play high school basketball and experience an American education. Both Rewi and Thompson were some of the very first players of Māori descent to have the opportunity to play basketball at an American high school.

She then moved on to Richard Stockton State College, a Division III college also in New Jersey, graduating in 1984.

Thompson’s parents had set up the Collegians Basketball Club in 1979 before she left for the United States and eventually changed the name of the organisation to Morehu to reflect the Thompson family’s connections to the Ratana Established Church of New Zealand.

In 1984, Thompson captained the Morehu Women’s Basketball team which won it’s first-ever National Club Championships title, beating the Napier Sun Hawks in the final at Walter Nash Stadium.

In 1985, Thompson was selected for the New Zealand National Team for their Australian tour. She was again selected for National honours on the 1987 tour to the US and the Olympic Qualifying tournament in Malaysia 1988.

In 2001, Thompson coached the Wellington Swish to the WNBL Championship and was named Coach of the Year.

Thompson began working at Sport NZ in 2007 and applied her organisational and strategic planning skills once she became a member of the Wellington Basketball Association Board – first as a committee member, then as Vice-President and then as President.  She stepped down from the Presidency in 2016.

Thompson is a current board member with NZ Māori Basketball since it was established in 2013.