Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Colin Tilley who passed away at his home on Thursday 2 September. His sudden passing is a shock for many of us, especially those who were still meeting with Colin online this week, as we discussed upcoming events and trainings.
Colin began playing in Wellington, but perhaps his devotion for the game started when he moved to New Plymouth in the 1980s and became involved with the NBL team there. He loved basketball and his passion on court developed into a lifelong service beside the court, especially in stats. He was the Head Statistician for Basketball New Zealand and worked with FIBA Oceania on material for our statistics training. It was Colin who also introduced New Zealand basketball to ‘Cyber Sport’, the original computer programme for stats which evolved into the FIBA live stats.
He was responsible for Stats personnel and score-table for some major events including the 2009 FIBA U19 Men’s World Cup hosted in Auckland. When the Breakers were established, he played an important role with the Stats team, which was New Zealand’s first foot in the door with the ANBL – more statisticians have since worked in the ANBL from around the country and have benefitted from Colin’s pioneering. He went on to support countless events including Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns internationals, the National Basketball League (NBL), countless community events including age-groups nationals and local leagues.
Recently, it was Colin who organised our FIBA qualified statisticians to get their licenses renewed, managed the stats for our many of our competitions, and he was also training new statisticians throughout many regions around New Zealand – the legacy of Colin’s dedication and service to our sport will last for many years through his students.
Those of us lucky enough to work with Colin will remember him as a thorough professional, super reliable, always keen to help with events, a man who loved the game and the people who were a part of it. And of course, for those who knew him well, his excellent and wry sense of humour.
Thank you for everything you have done for our community Colin. We will miss you – rest in peace.
NZ Herald Obituary:
TILLEY, Colin Lewis (Colin). Born March 2nd 1958. Passed away suddenly at home September 2nd 2021. Precious husband of Glenda. “Best mates forever”. Loved father and father-in-law of Rob and Lisa, Michael and Rin, Adam and Janelle. Much loved brother of Vernon. Brother-in-law to Paul, Lisa and Paul, Peter, David and Karen. Poppa to his treasured grandchildren – Teddy, Abigail and grandbaby due in January. A private cremation will be held this week. A memorial service for Colin will be held at a later date.
Published in The New Zealand Herald on Sept. 6, 2021