Basketball New Zealand would like to acknowledge Burton Shipley being named as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to basketball.
FIBA’s current Vice President (VP) was one of a number of Kiwis recognised for their contribution to their community in the 2021 New Year’s Honours list, which only added to the Cantabrian’s exemplary resume.
Shipley long-standing involvement with the sport started as a player at St Andrew’s College before elevating through to the Canterbury Rams from 1969 to 1974 as part of teams that won national club and provincial titles.
He returned to basketball in the ‘90s to take on administrative duties, the biggest role being the chair the NZNBL from 1999 to 2004.
In the lead up to his appointment as the VP of FIBA in 2019 as well being the President of FIBA Oceania, he chaired the New Zealand Breakers from 2005 to 2010, and was a BBNZ Board Member from 2003-2005 and again from 2011 to 2013.
Among his notable pieces of work was the development of the Oceania basketball strategy to raise the profile and build the capacity and capability of basketball in 22 Pacific nations.
This has included a leadership initiative supporting women in 10 Pacific nations, basketball programmes for approximately 300,000 youth addressing public health issues and youth leadership, and a competition system allowing more opportunities for Pacific players to compete internationally.
Most recently, Shipley chaired the Coordination Commission of FIBA’s biggest competition, the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 held in China. The quadrennial event welcomed over 800,000 spectators with more than three billion global television reach across 190 territories.
The New Year Honours, awarded annually on New Year’s Day, is part of a uniquely New Zealand system, marked by naming new members of orders of chivalry and recipients of other official honours.