As Basketball New Zealand (BBNZ) prepares for a pair of pinnacle events this year with both the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup and the FIBA Men’s World Cup, there are other Kiwis working behind the scenes at FIBA level to ensure the game of basketball continues to grow across the globe.
Earlier this month, FIBA Oceania’s Zone Assembly met on Australia’s Gold Coast to elect a new board for the upcoming 2023-2027 cycle. New Zealand’s Megan Compain – also part of the BBNZ Board – was one of six selections onto the FIBA Oceania Board, joining Australia’s David Reid who will replace outgoing FIBA Oceania President, Burton Shipley.
The Zone Assembly also awarded Shipley with the FIBA Oceania Member of Honor, and ex-BBNZ CEO Iain Potter with the Patricia Ramsay Award. Burton, who became an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2020 for services to basketball, reflected on his what has been achieved in Oceania during his two terms as President.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the committee and all of our national federations over the past four years and I love the comradery we share,” says Shipley.
“The success of major events in our region is a testament to what we are capable of in Oceania. I appreciate the work everyone has done across the region as we aim to build, develop and sustain basketball growth across the board.”
Shipley and Compain continue a rich history of Kiwi representation at FIBA level, with Burton currently serving as FIBA’s Vice President – a role he has held since 2014 – as well as a member of FIBA’s Executive Committee, FIBA Central Board and an International Basketball Foundation Board Member.
In addition, New Zealand’s Dr Peter Burt serves on FIBA’s Medical Commission (2019-2023), ex-Tall Black Kirk Penney is on the FIBA Players Commission (2019-2023), Chris Patterson has been part of FIBA’s Legal Commission since 2014 and Greg Williamson is part of the FIBA Finance Commission and FIBA Oceania Board (2014-2023).
BBNZ CEO, Dillon Boucher says that New Zealand continues to have an important presence at the highest levels of basketball.
“We currently have five Kiwi representatives on FIBA committees for the current cycle – including Burton sitting at one of the highest levels – which is more than any other country,” says Boucher.
“That’s a testament to New Zealand and the level of basketball experience and knowledge which has come out of Aotearoa. Our people are each playing their part to help shape the future of basketball around the world, which is incredibly exciting.
“Megan’s pending appointment is also vital as it adds a strong female and Pasifika voice to the FIBA Oceania Board; in this role she can continue advocating for more opportunities across these spaces.”
Boucher says that as a nation we continue to punch above our weight.
“Our recent qualification for the FIBA World Cup – when multiple top-ranked countries were unable to achieve this – is just another example of this, it’s something we should celebrate as it’s not as easy as it looks.”
FIBA Secretary General, Andreas Zagklis recently visited New Zealand to spend time with Boucher and the BBNZ team. He says that New Zealand should be immensely proud of their role in FIBA and their achievements on the basketball world stage.
“There is no doubt that Basketball New Zealand has made great progress over the past 10 years; the changes to the FIBA structure and the global competition system, the introduction of 3×3 as our second Olympic disciplines, all have been very well adopted by BBNZ and they have made great strides,” says Zagklis.
“It is not an accident that in another FIBA World Cup, New Zealand will be present and will participate in a great group with USA, Greece and Jordan.”
Zagklis also paid tribute to the basketball Associations in New Zealand for their hard work at grassroots level.
“I would like to extend my gratitude to the Associations members of BBNZ for their hard work, we know very well that the previous three years during Covid was extremely challenging for our sport – but together they’ve come out of the pandemic stronger and more resilient.”
Kiwi Representation at FIBA
Dr Peter Burt – FIBA’s Medical Commission (2019-2023)
Megan Compain – FIBA Oceania Board (from 2023-2027)
Chris Patterson – FIBA Legal Commission (2014-2023)
Kirk Penney – FIBA Players Commission (2019-2023)
Burton Shipley – FIBA Vice President (2014-2023), FIBA Central Board Member (2014-2023), FIBA Executive Committee (2014-2023), FIBA Foundation Board Member (2019-2023)
Greg Williamson – FIBA Finance Commission (2014-2023), FIBA Oceania Board (2014-2023)