The annual National Māori Basketball tournament is taking place in Rotorua, with thousands expected to turn out for the week-long event ( 21-25 Jan).
Participation starts as low as Under 9 and runs all the way up to Masters, which will see multiple generations across various grades come together for an embracement of Māoritanga, whānau fun and of course, basketball.
The games are being played at Rotorua Energy Events Centre, Rotorua Girls’ High School, John Paul College and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Koutu, with attendance welcomed to all who are keen to pay witness to both the next generation and legends of Aotearoa’s game.
Māori Basketball New Zealand has also chosen to acknowledge one of the stalwarts in the country’s basketball space for the 2020 event, renaming the Challenge Cup (overall aggregate) the Willie Taurima Challenge Trophy after he passed away last December.
Along with the basketball on show, waiata and haka are set to be performed by iwi on Thursday (23 Jan) night as part of the cultural celebration.
Later this year, the Māori national teams take on the globe in the World Indigenous Games being held in Porirua, with player selection to be made from this week’s play.