The Secondary Schools Nationals have come around quickly, as teams look to begin their journey to Palmerston North for the 2023 edition of the tournament. 68 teams will be spread across the Manawatū region and will be playing at Central Energy Trust Arena.
There are two competitions inside of the Secondary Schools Nationals; the ‘A’ Championships which are for smaller schools, and the ‘AA’ Championships which are for larger schools. The ‘A’ Championships will run from the 25th September through to the 28th September, while the ‘AA’ Championships go a few days longer, from the 25th September to the 30th September.
Tickets to this year’s event can be purchased at the doors, or online at https://nzbasketball.flicket.co.nz/ – with a day pass costing $5 and a week pass for all days costing $20.
Last year’s ‘A’ Championship winning teams Ōpunake High School (Boys) and Ngā Taiātea Wharekura (Girls) will be back and will be looking for a follow-up victory to make it two in a row.
Talking to Ripeka Edwards, last year’s MVP from Ngā Taiātea Wharekura, she mentioned how great of a time Nationals was, and how it wasn’t just winning the competition with her team that made it great.
“Thinking back to the A Championships from last year, I admired all the connections and memories that I made there, both on and off the court,” said Edwards.
“As a team, we headed into the tournament with our goal being to represent our kura, our hapū and our iwi. There’s so much more to just winning, but taking out the A Championships was just a bonus.”
Cameron Quinnell, who was MVP for the Boys ‘A’ Championships, talked about how Ōpunake High School built the foundations that lead up to Nationals, and their victory.
“We played an amazing week of hoops and ensured that we enjoyed each other’s company,” said Quinnell.
“After a disappointing qualifying tournament the previous month by our standards, we had something to prove and we had to show that we were a much better team than the one that qualified. We worked extremely hard for the next month in the lead-up.”
“Nationals is such a vibe to be at, so for anyone coming this year, make sure you enjoy it and most importantly, have fun!”
Christs College (Boys) and Westlake Girls High School (Girls) were two new winners for the ‘AA’ Championships last year, and we welcome them back to try to defend their titles.
Westlake Girls took out a very important title, after coming so close in previous years. Mackenzie Chatfield, who was the MVP for the ‘AA’ Championships last year, told us how her coaches influenced the team’s victory.
“The victory felt so much sweeter knowing we had ben working for years to achieve it with Coach Nela and Coach Bronwen,” said Chatfield.
“Having them coach me for my entire High School career created a bond that I will cherish for the rest of my life. To have won the Nationals with them is always something I will be proud of.”
Hunter Adam, a name you may be familiar with, as last season he claimed three MVP titles, including the ‘AA’ Championships MVP with Christs College. We asked him a few different questions about the difference between Rep Basketball and High School Basketball.
“I believe there is much more passion involved in High School Basketball. When you’re playing with your high school team, I think there is an elevated sense of pride and ownership. You’re playing for all your family and friends, and you can feel their support every time you take the court,” said Adam.
“I finished my time at Christ’s College with lifelong friends. The bonds that my team and I forged on and off the court will stick with me forever, and I am incredibly thankful for the Secondary Schools Nationals for allowing me the opportunities to make those connections.”
The Basketball New Zealand Secondary Schools Nationals tip-off Monday from 9AM, with the live stream starting from 12:30pm via our website.
Keeping up to date with the fixtures and results is simple and can be found at https://bbnz.link/ssnats
For the first time, Basketball New Zealand will have two courts with select games Live Streamed through our website – https://nz.basketball/tv. The schedule for live streamed games will be shown on our social media channels each day and is the easiest way to get all the information as the tournament happens. A link will also be available on the home page of Basketball New Zealand.
- The Secondary Schools Nationals will be held at Central Energy Trust Arena in Palmerston North from 25th September – 30th September.
- Tickets are available at https://nzbasketball.flicket.co.nz
- You can view the scores and results, as well as any other relevant tournament information at https://bbnz.link/ssnats
- You can watch selected games online via https://nz.basketball/tv
- Merch will be available at the venue, or you can order online by clicking here
- Following Basketball New Zealand on Instagram, Facebook and X (Twitter) is the best way to get instant access to information. Use the #SSNats to help find relevant posts.
- You can view all the photos of the tournament at https://bbnz.link/photos. Photos are updated throughout the day.